A Palm Reader Predicted The Motorcycle Accident That Nearly Killed Me – 8 Years Before It Happened

By
Share
Ad failed to load

I’ve always heard that you see your whole life flash before your eyes the moment you're about to die. I didn’t. There were no warm childhood memories, no images of my family, no flashbacks to defining family moments. Instead, I was blinded by a quick flash of warm, white light, and time stood still. I was suspended in a moment of pure clarity, almost as if removed from my body, with an unprecedented level of focus and capacity to analyze the perilous situation I had gotten myself into.

As time slowed to a halt, there was a single image burned into my thoughts: the face of a man I had met just once eight years ago. I could see his weathered skin, wrinkled by time; his crooked teeth, stained by years of black tea consumption; and the menacing scar just below his left eye. I relived the moment he took my 19-year-old hand in his, carefully studied my palms, and definitively predicted my death at the age of 27 in a motorcycle accident.

I relived the moment he took my 19-year-old hand in his, carefully studied my palms, and definitively predicted my death at the age of 27 in a motorcycle accident.
Ad failed to load

Although it didn't feel like it, everything happened in a split second. I was returning from an early morning photo shoot in the outskirts of Pondicherry, India. Outside of the village, I rode past some uneven dirt roads. Rains from the previous few days had created large puddles my motorcycle struggled through, as water rose up to the engine, causing it to stall mid-puddle.

Still I persisted. I made my way back to the main road, heading back toward my base camp in Auroville for breakfast. As I shifted up the first three gears, something jumped onto the street directly in front of me. My thoughts immediately flew to children playing on the side of the road or a dog crossing the street. Instinctively, I slammed the shoddy breaks of my 160cc Honda Hero rental to avoid collision. The force launched me off my bike and directly into oncoming traffic.

Ad failed to load

On the other side of the road, an old vegetable delivery man was driving his motorcycle in the opposite direction, and I was destined to fall into his path. There was no time to prevent it; there was no time for him to swerve. I could smell the hot rubber of his screeching tires, the oil on his greasy chain, and the fumes coming out of his exhaust. I closed my eyes and braced myself for contact, fully expecting my face to be crushed on impact, but something unexpected happened instead — something that ended up saving my life.

Within the last two-tenths of a second or so, momentum carried me ever so slightly away from his front wheel. His motorcycle drove over my left shoulder and ran diagonally across my back, hitting my left ear, and narrowly missing my head, neck, and spine.

His motorcycle drove over my left shoulder and ran diagonally across my back, hitting my left ear, and narrowly missing my head, neck, and spine.
Ad failed to load

It was over in an instant. When I opened my eyes, the only thing I saw was the overcast sky directly above me. Was I dead? Was this the moment I transitioned into my next life? Thoroughly confused, I tried to force myself up. Instead of rising, I let out an animalistic yell. I could suddenly feel my insides crushed by his two wheels. The pain was excruciating, but it assured me I was alive — very much so. I was in an alternate state: my arms full of blood as adrenaline rushed through my entire body.

The local villagers scrambled to attend to the old vegetable man who had ended up driving into a ditch unscathed. They didn't crowd around me though. It’s not like I had just gotten run over by a motorcycle or anything... Eventually, one of the men did come over, but only to warn me that I should leave quickly if I wanted to avoid further trouble. The village took care of their own, and my safety would be in jeopardy if I stayed.

Ad failed to load

Still in shock, covered in my own blood, I struggled to gather my belongings. I picked up my camera bag, hobbled to my fuming motorcycle, and sped my way back to Auroville.

None of it had hit me yet, and I couldn't fully comprehend the gravity of what had happened. My body was operating as if on auto-pilot. Looking back, I could have easily ended up in ditch myself at high speeds, as I struggled to make my way to my nearby friends' house for help. As I tried to make sense of this surreal morning, of everything that happened, all my focus was on the man who predicted this moment and that eerie look he had on his face.

Ad failed to load

It was 2008 when my aunt invited over the palm reader; I was on summer holiday in Mumbai, India before heading into my junior year of college in Paris, France. It wasn't all that out of the ordinary to do. My family is originally from India, and I have been exposed to spiritual practices from a very young age. Much of my family strongly believes the spirit world, palmistry, and astrology all have very real effects on our lives. My great grandfather was even a priest for the spirit world.

My aunt, in particular, was curious about where the next few years would lead me — whether I would land a great job out of school or, more importantly, whether (and when) I would get married, which is a major topic of interest in Indian families.

Ad failed to load

When he arrived, I agreed to the palm reading session for pure entertainment, and I volunteered very little information to the man. I was skeptical of his honesty — and of palmistry in general. He opened with a few stereotypical and obvious statements that would apply to most 19-year-old men: Don’t drive too fast, be careful with alcohol, study hard, etc… He told me the girl I was dating at the time would not become my wife, which wasn't exactly a shocking revelation for me.

At the start, he was concise and quick, offering one-off sentences and trite pieces of advice. But soon after, he found his stride and started fleshing out his predictions with more details.

At the start, he was concise and quick, offering one-off sentences and trite pieces of advice. But soon after, he found his stride and started fleshing out his predictions with more details.
Ad failed to load

Some of what he offered was promising and some worrying (like his prediction of my death). But when he told me I would be famous in the media world for sports achievements with a trophy coming my way, I was convinced the guy was a complete hoax. I left the experience curious, but generally unimpressed.

Strangely enough, in the coming years, certain predictions materialized in extremely detailed ways. I was offered the role of sports editor for my university newspaper. My athletic achievements fit on a Post-it note but my knowledge and passion for sports motivated me to work hard at the task. I was awarded the “best section editor” at the student media annual reception. I remembered the palm reader then and was impressed at how specific he was in predicting that particular event of my life. There were other small things as well. The girlfriend? Sure enough that ended a few months later.

Ad failed to load

Perhaps those predictions in themselves weren't enough to change my life, but they were enough to give me pause. What else could come to fruition? My thoughts rushed back to that day, and I remembered the man had strongly advised me to be careful while driving, particularly two-wheelers, as he saw darkness surrounding my 27th year.

The man had strongly advised me to be careful while driving, particularly two-wheelers, as he saw darkness surrounding my 27th year.

Although I hadn't been very attentive toward the beginning of our session, I remember his shift in facial expression when he spoke of this darkness clearly. He didn't interpret the event outright, but he saw two possible outcomes: my death, or my narrowly avoiding death and experiencing a life-changing event. His demeanor tightened and his eyes sharpened as he spoke those words. That prediction stayed with me, buried somewhere deep, for the next eight years. And it wasn't the only warning I received either.

Ad failed to load

My very intuitive mother told me about the particular path I was headed down just days before the accident. She was worried about me as she had consistently woken up from the same vivid, recurring dream of a plane crash the entire month I was traveling. A few years later, she would reveal she called because she could see nothing but a sea of darkness in my future.

[My mother] was worried about me as she had consistently woken up from the same vivid, recurring dream of a plane crash the entire month I was traveling.
Ad failed to load

Yet there I was: 27 and on a motorcycle. So why did I ignore the signs? As much as I wanted to avoid the self-fulfilling prophecy, I had trouble projecting myself beyond my 27th year in my mind; it was as if my mental calendar had turned to pure black after the first three months of 2016.

And so I set out that early morning of January 26, clueless to the fact that the palmist's prediction would manifest itself. Clueless that the events that day would force me to reevaluate and change my life.

Ad failed to load

I was rushed to the hospital as soon as I reached my friends' house, and I spent a week in the intensive care unit. The doctors were astounded that the motorcycle missed my spine by a few centimeters, narrowly avoiding partial or full paralysis. I had to spend the month recovering from a ruptured right kidney in Pondicherry before I was repatriated to France.

The month-long stay at the hospital initiated a long period of self-reflection, and, after the initial shock and realization, I felt anger. I wondered why this was happening to me. Had I deserved it? Was this a cosmic punishment? Did I really deserve to survive the crash? I doubted myself; I wondered if I’d ever get back to my nomadic lifestyle. Had I missed my chance to be a travel photographer? I questioned just about every relationship I had.

Ad failed to load
The doctors were astounded that the motorcycle missed my spine by a few centimeters, narrowly avoiding partial or full paralysis.

Many of my friends couldn't comprehend the gravity of my situation — whether it was because of their own stressful lives or because of the falsely heightened sense of proximity social media gives us, I'm not sure. I was disappointed in many of those so-called friends, but was also happy to see certain people emerge after losing touch for many years.

Ad failed to load

I was bedridden, couldn’t walk much, and depended on others for daily tasks. I took this in stride and patiently rebuilt myself. I understood how fortunate I was to have my mother and brother at my side, along with a close group of friends and family sending their love. As I was moved from the ICU to my hospital room, it became clearer to me how lucky I was to even be alive. The anger was still present, but hope and progress became more apparent.

The only way I found I could express myself and share the emotions of being confined to a bed as the world continued to go on, ironically but unsurprisingly, was to take photos of the entire experience.

The only way I found I could express myself and share the emotions of being confined to a bed as the world continued to go on, ironically but unsurprisingly, was to take photos of the entire experience.
Ad failed to load

I shot images of my Indian hospital experience on my iPhone to share this defining and earth-shattering period of my life with family and friends in a series entitled “Hospital Chronicles.”

My very near-death experience crystallized the idea that my main purpose in life is to create a visual narrative to share my stories with as many people as possible. It is, quite frankly, the only thing I truly enjoy doing every single day.

Ad failed to load

My accident highlighted one concept to me above all: We, as humans, are fragile; we are not immortal, and this earth will continue spinning long after we are gone.

Ad failed to load

I have become increasingly spiritual and more in tune with my religious side over the past eight years. I will always cherish that palm reading experience as an open door into the spiritual world.

A year and a half after the accident, I enjoy photography more than ever before. The experience not only changed my thoughts on how intuitive humans can be, but it also confirmed my purpose in this lifetime.

As I get even more in touch with my spiritual side, I have a clearer vision of what photography I want to share with the world. I may not have enjoyed the commercial success I've been longing for yet, but I have a renewed appreciation for the little things; the minute details; those transient, everyday moments that bring beauty to life.

Ad failed to load

Sure, the rest of the palm reader's words still echo in my head: “If you survive this darkness that looms over your 27th year, the next troubles will come at the age of 52." But, as I've got a few years left to prepare, we can save that prediction for another time.

As for now, I’m enjoying a reinvigorated sense of observation through this fresh source of inspiration to capture images and share my vision of the world with others. Stay tuned.

Ad failed to load

Moonsplaining is a content package dedicated to the power of feminine spirituality. Instead of blaming the universe for your problems, learn how to harness its ebbs and flows for your own good. Here's how to make the universe work for you, not against you.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

3 Important Red Flags To Watch Out For When You're Dating Someone Older Than You

My first serious relationship was with someone almost ten years my senior. We got together during my first semester of college (after meeting through mutual friends) and I'd be lying if I said our breakup didn't have anything to do with our significa…
By Sydnee Lyons

These "Millennial Cruises" Will Make Your Next Friend Group Vacation So Lit

If you're a millennial right now, consider yourself lucky. If you're a millennial with the travel bug, consider yourself luckier. I know, you might be thinking, "But... money!" Trust me, I get it. Plane tickets and hotels can get expensive as you cou…
By Amanda Fama

5 Trends From The '90s Are Making A Serious Comeback, So Somebody Page Cher Horowitz

I was born in the '90s and my childhood was one Caboodles train case packed with scrunchies and butterfly clips after another. If you could believe it, early '90s fashion is already considered vintage (I officially feel old AF) and according to sprin…
By Stephanie Montes

5 Social Things You Can Do To Feel Less Lonely If You’re Single

Being single and being lonely don’t have to go hand-in-hand. Just because you don’t have a significant other, doesn’t mean you aren’t surrounded by wonderful people who love and care about you. But once in a while (especially if you’ve been single fo…
By Veronica Lopez

6 Subtle Red Flags That Could Mean You’re Sleeping Way Too Much

Have you ever woken up after an unusually long night of sleep and felt, well, kind of awful? Whether you roll out of bed feeling super dehydrated, nursing a throbbing a headache, or you simply feel stiff as a board, there are reasons why your body mi…
By Annakeara Stinson

These 6 Workouts Can Be Done Right On Your Couch, & Yes, They Do Count As Exercise

Ever have that feeling when you're watching the Olympics like you should be working out, or at least stretching, but in reality you're just laying around eating chips? Yeah, me neither. But if you do ever feel that pull to work out when you're just l…
By Annakeara Stinson

10 Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Day To Keep The Love Alive

When it coms to love, falling into it is a lot easier than maintaining it. There’s a reason, after all, that it's called "falling" in love, because it's mostly out of your control — the heart just takes over. Because those emotions come so easily and…
By Rachel Shatto

Science Says These 8 Foods Can Help You Live Longer, So Eat Up

If you're looking to live forever, or at least for an appropriately long amount of time, then the best way to get started on your journey toward immortality is to think about what you're putting into your body for fuel. Think of your diet as the batt…
By Caroline Burke

I Live In London & When Guys Find Out I'm American, They Only See Me As A Fling

I first entered the world of dating apps during a semester abroad in London, and I had zero idea what I was getting myself into. I was 21, had only ever dated boys I'd met through work, school, or mutual friends, and my appreciation for romantic come…
By Genevieve Wheeler

Here's Exactly How You'll Fall In Love, Based On Your Astrological Sign

One of my favorite things about learning about my zodiac sign and others' is learning patterns about my behavior that I can acknowledge and use to my advantage. As a Scorpio sun sign, I know I'm typically described as mysterious, drawn to loyal peopl…
By Elana Rubin

These 8 Red Flags Might Mean You're Pushing Yourself Too Hard In Your Workouts

If you live by the motto "no pain, no gain," or you frequently exclaim that your HIIT circuits "hurt so good," you're probably the type of person who challenges yourself to the max during your workouts. And while this isn't necessarily a bad thing, i…
By Georgina Berbari

These "Awkward" Proposal Stories Show There's No One Perfect Way To Get Engaged

There are a few adjectives people use to describe proposal stories that tend to be a bit more common than the rest. You know what I mean. How many times have you heard someone describe their marriage proposal as "magical" or "romantic" or — my person…
By Candice Jalili

This $20 Toy Simulates Pimple Popping, So You Can Save Your Face (But Still Lose Your Dignity)

As a self-proclaimed popaholic, I am not ashamed to admit that I love watching pimple popping and blackhead extraction videos. Call me gross, but I find it immensely therapeutic and satisfying. To all of my fellow weirdos, we’ve been blessed with a n…
By Ariana Marsh

Meghan Markle Uses This $13 Natural Wonder To Grow Her Eyebrows Back & You Can Too

Meghan Markle is the world's new go-to celebrity for all things fashion and beauty — she's marrying a prince after all, so she must have some tricks up her sleeve. Meghan Markle's beauty routine is just as intricate as mine, because that's how real s…
By Alison Turka

7 Foolproof Things To Do Every Day If You're Tired Of Being Lazy AF

Being lazy can be oh-so-lovely. Until you start letting life pass you by, and not living to your full potential, then suddenly, it's not so good anymore. Don't get me wrong, I love my weekends when I can stay snuggled up in bed just a bit longer. Hit…
By Marisa Casciano

This Is How Long Most People Wait To Say "I Love You," Science Says

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes …
By Candice Jalili

6 Reasons To Travel Abroad With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend In Your 20s

Traveling can be many things: hectic, expensive, and definitely stressful. But with the right people or person beside you, all those troubles kind of just melt away. That's why there are some solid reasons to travel abroad with your boyfriend or girl…
By Alani Vargas