It was exactly noon, earlier today. I had just taken my lunch. I was installing myself before the TV for the mid-day news. BOOM…PHSSHHHH. I was taken aback. I drew the curtains to see what happened. A white smoke in the air, a blurred view of a vehicle in my yard, and I heard the roaring of an engine that stopped seconds after.
At this moment I could hardly gauge what it was really. I just put on my clothing and rushed outside. A tractor has crashed against the wall fencing my yard along the roadside.
It was such an impact, like a bomb exploding beside me. The smoke, which was actually a cloud of white dust from the broken wall, gave the idea there was a fire. My whole body remained shaking for a while.
In the yard I saw a man, probably the driver, staggering. “What happened, Sir?” I asked. “The brakes failed,” he answered. And when I asked him whether he or anybody was injured he didn’t reply. He appeared confused and stayed dumb as he rushed to the road. A four wheeler was stopping to see the scene. He jumped into it and headed to the hospital.
There seemed to be another guy with him. It was the tractor attendant whom nobody saw how he got down and where he went. He disappeared in the twinkling of an eye.
Everybody was stunned. There was no serious injury, at least from what we saw for ourselves. Everyone thought it was fatal. Fortunately not. The tractor was heading downhill to Port Mathurin with a tank full of water for distribution somewhere. Were there no wall the tractor could have ended with my house some 10 metres away.
Mauritian residing in Rodrigues, Amanoola Khayrattee (pen name Alfa King) is contributing writer and journalist to La Gazette Mag de l’océan indien and This Week News Mauritius.
Retired, former meteorological cadre, trade unionist and OSH consultant, Amanoola has written for in-house union and other journals, publications and magazines. He runs two blogs since 2007: “Alfa King Memories”, and “Le Journal d’Alfa King”. When he is not reading or writing, he is on a 10+ km daily hike in anticipation of his monthly trails.
Amanoola may be reached at [email protected].