Tuesday, 6 November 2012

English Point of View Assignment: Bicycle Accident

Not four weeks ago, we were working on our points of view assignment in English class. Our topic of study in English at the time was Points of View and for our summative assessment, that is, the project given to us at the end of our unit where the teachers assessed our attainment, we had to describe an incident which happened to us from two different, contrasting points of view. We had to recreate a part of the incident, that is, one or more scenes, that occurred within a 12-hour time span or less. The incident I described in my scene was a bike accident that occurred roughly two years ago. Read it and enjoy!

The afternoon sun shone brightly with a pink tone over the tops of the trees covering the cycling pathway. East Coast Park was lively and bustling, as was typical of a Sunday afternoon. I was anxious to reach Changi Airport by cycle for the 10th time. My hands shook and my stomach lurched as I rode on with Dhruv just behind me. My eyes were focused on the road ahead and my feet were tingling.  Sunday seemed the perfect day to make this special ride, with the happy vibe in the air. People were flocking to the nearby hawker centre to grab some delicious laksa. As the smell of the delicious food wafted towards us and my mouth began to drool and my stomach grumbled loudly.

There was no better person to ride to the airport with other than Dhruv. He was one of those friends who never thought too much before doing anything; he was always relaxed, but ready to give you some encouragement when you needed it. East Coast Park was our first pick when deciding where to cycle. The early afternoon weather was what I considered to be the nicest throughout the day, with a light breeze and the sun’s light reflecting off the sea water only metres away. Just 30 minutes into our cycle, however, things suddenly took a turn for the worse.

Dhruv and I were riding along at a comfortable, leisurely place, when our childishness took the better of us and we began to race against one another as we entered the next long straight. This particular section of the ECP seemed less crowded and we pushed ourselves to the limit. His bike, although 2 years older than mine, pushed on at maximum speed, and we were neck and neck. The steady breeze that was blowing had quickly turned into a gale which thrusted itself at me. My loosely-fitted helmet began to shake, as though it were to fly off any second. The rush of wind on my face worsened my sight, but even if it hadn’t I could have never predicted the events that would follow.

A middle-aged couple appeared out of nowhere and were walking straight in front of me about 10 metres away. They hadn’t seen Dhruv or I headed straight for them. I jammed the brakes, but they had chosen the wrong time to fail. The track began to get rougher and rutted and time to slow down. I broke into a sideways drift and my foot was thrusted to the tarmac. My panic was so great that I couldn’t feel the pain from my foot as the friction was tearing my tendons and ripping the soles of my shoes. Time slowed down for a few moments as I was screaming in fear. My face froze as my bike raced closer towards the couple and my mind suddenly went blank.

My efforts were in vain. Although I hadn’t crashed into them straight on, my handlebars had hit the lady and knocked her over. Soon after, my bike skidded and crashed sideways. I hadn’t fallen unconscious, but after I got up I realized the extent to which I had been injured. Both my legs were scraped badly and were bleeding heavily, my arms were covered with cuts and bruises and back was also bleeding from scrapes. The wind at this time had died down completely, and the crowds had disappeared for lunch. Since we were over 2 kilometres from the hawker centre, it wasn’t easy to get help. But the couple showed no sympathy, even though they had not been walking on the proper pathway and were in the cycling lane. The husband of the wife immediately rushed to her side. During this time I took a closer look at them. They were both in their early 40s and like most others were probably going for lunch.

There was an eerie silence, except for the soothing sound of the waves hitting the beach. Dhruv had suffered no injuries, as his bike slowed steadily and quickly. I was sweating and exhausted, and the pain from the wounds was made worse when the sweat came in contact with them. My breathing got heavier and I lost some of the feeling from my hands as I leaned on my bike (which was stood upright by Dhruv). I had close to no strength left in my body- my legs couldn’t take my weight for much longer and were already wobbling.

The silence was broken when the husband began to shower insults and shout at us for injuring his wife. He explained to us that she had 3 cuts on her arms, a cut on her back and two bruises on her legs. She ‘required hospitalization immediately’, and we were supposed to pay for it. I couldn’t make out why, because she looked completely fine, apart from a lightly bleeding cut. Dhruv and I were consumed by anger and the husband’s comment just added fuel to the fire. I may have kept a rigid face but I was fuming inside. My hands closed into a fist and my muscles tightened. How dare he accuse us though they were walking on the wrong pathway? Did he look at the wounds that I had obtained from the crash? He even threatened to phone the police.

Some joggers arrived at the scene, but to my surprise began to take the side of the husband. In the searing heat, sweaty and wounded badly, I could stand no more. I gave the husband my father’s and my phone number and shot each of them an angry glare before I left with Dhruv. I could hear him swearing under his breath.

Same Story from the Middle-Aged Lady’s Point of View

The sun shone particularly brightly on this Sunday afternoon over East Coast Park. The fact that it was overcrowded was no surprise to me- at least 300 other Singaporeans had planned a similar lunch outing to ours. The hawker centre at Mana Mana served the most succulent and flavourful dishes; they were so hard to resist. Choosing something to eat from the menu was close to impossible; every item was worth tasting. The only deciding factor for us was the availability of the dishes. My husband never usually bothered about the price. It was just the two of us eating anyway and the question on the value for money never arose.

Unfortunately, prior to leaving for lunch, in my hurry I had lost a brand-new, gold-plated watch I received as a gift not a week earlier and finding it took close to half an hour. Nonetheless, leaving late had cost us dearly- we couldn’t find a parking space near the hawker centre and had to park over a kilometre away from it. I doubted there would be much food left for us to eat by the time we walked there. My sole consolation was that my husband and I could enjoy a little romance on the walk to Mana Mana.

We were relishing the finest walk we had since we were married. I was laughing at the funniest jokes and stories my husband had told all week about his job. The temperature was cooler and there was a steady, weak rush of air on our faces. Sparrows were holding a world-class opera above us. Apart from an occasional jogger or cyclist, the pathway was empty. The leaves on the trees on either side of us were swaying gently. The sound of the waves hitting the coast only metres away was so tranquil. I couldn’t have felt better. Mother nature seemed in a generous mood today.

Suddenly, two Indian teenagers came around the bend in front of us at top speed. It appeared that they were having a race, but one of the cyclists, the taller of the two, was riding into the walking pathway and was headed straight for me. He seemed lost in a sea of adrenaline and was oblivious to a couple walking just in front of him. In panic and sheer fright, I screamed at him to stop, as did my husband. He paid no heed to our yelling and began brake not ten metres away from us, as though he had only just noticed our presence. His friend, a shorter Indian boy, had stopped by this time. The taller Indian boy, whose bike was still moving towards us at full speed, broke into a drift. I could do nothing but brace. My heart pounded at my chest and my face froze. As my breathing got sharper and quicker, my knees, arms and head were shaking.

The impact was hard and abrupt. I was lifted clean off my feet and landed on my back with a painful ‘thud’. I passed out immediately afterwards. As soon as I regained consciousness, I examined my body, while my husband was at my side, calling for an ambulance. I had badly bruised knees and a twisted ankle, which were both throbbing with pain. My arms and back had several deep cuts and were bleeding heavily. In order to prevent a nasty infection from spreading through body and causing more severe problems, I needed hospitalization immediately.

The teen, however, was not hurt badly. Apart from a few minor scrapes on his arms and knees that were bleeding a little, he seemed all right. I would make sure his ignorance would be his trapdoor into hell. He was riding on the wrong pathway, at a speed that can only be described as insane and had hit me when he could have easily avoided it. By this time the mid-afternoon heat was bearing down on us and my sweat began to seep into my wounds and cause a stinging pain. I was inclined to call the police- boys this age should have had the maturity to ride safely and slowly near a public eating area. My husband assumed the role of a lawyer and began to lecture the boys on why Indian immigrants were respected in Singapore. Both boys shot him angry looks with eyes of steel. After the three kettles had stopped boiling, they had settled on an agreement. The boy who had crashed into me had given my husband his father’s cellphone number and left without apologizing for the trouble. I was in too much agony to scold him for all the trouble he had caused.


This is the final, edited and marked copy of my POV (Points of View) writing piece. Although Mr.Raisdana had not made too many major corrections, he mentioned to me that my used some vague language in my piece such as "seemed to" and "appeared to".  I agree with this, and his reasoning that since it is my writing piece, I am free to make open statements and should. I was unsure of this originally and wrote from what I perceived to be the characters in the story. It is a good tip for when I write more in the future. Also, in my first POV piece, the one written from my point of view,  I added some extra thoughts from the character's perspective, which Mr.Raisdana suggested I remove. I think this was because I was dragging on my piece and that if I cut the extra thoughts out my ending would be better. I definitely agree with him. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for choosing to share your work. This was wonderful. I really enjoyed it.