A busload of frantic passengers and a wild tusker in the middle of a forest path…! What more could a driver expect while driving a bus through a winding road.
But, the calm driver drove the vehicle in reverse for over eight kms, negotiating the sharp curves and bends on the forest road and saved the lives of over 40 passengers while the animal came charging towards them.
The visuals of the encounter, which took place at Valparai route in Chalakudy in this district on Tuesday, have gone viral on social media.
'അംബുജാക്ഷൻ ഹീറോയാടാ.. ഹീറോ..' സ്വകാര്യ ബസിന് നേരെ പാഞ്ഞടുത്ത് ഒറ്റയാൻ കബാലി, എട്ടുകിലോമീറ്റർ പിന്നോട്ടോടിച്ച് യാത്രക്കാരെ രക്ഷപ്പെടുത്തി ഡ്രൈവർ അംബുജാക്ഷൻ; ചാലക്കുടി-വാൽപ്പാറ റൂട്ടിൽ ഒരു സാഹസികയാത്ര#wildelephant #kabali pic.twitter.com/QfuJFZlKx2
— Asianet News (@AsianetNewsML) November 16, 2022
In the video, believed to have been shot by some passengers using their mobile phone, the jumbo could be seen coming from the opposite direction of the private bus.
The panic-stricken passengers could be heard asking the driver to reverse the bus as there was no sufficient room to manoeuvre around and turn back on the narrow forest path.
A seasoned driver, Ambujakshan, drove the bus in reverse gear from Ambalapara to Anakkayam till the tusker, which was keeping pace with the vehicle, gave up.
”It was an unforgettable experience… Everyone was gripped with fear… there was no way other than taking the bus in reverse gear for over eight kilometers,” he said on Wednesday.
Residents said the tusker, which caused some anxious moments, has been frequenting the place for over two years.
He was named ‘Kabali’, the title character of a Rajinikanth-starrer movie with the same name, by the locals.