In the Wake of…

My day was good. This is what I thought when I stepped out of my office after signing out. There wasn’t much to do today. In fact, in the last hour considered to be well within the working hours, I tried solving today’s Crossword in Deccan Herald. Lately, I have stopped reading “the news” as I cannot relate to them anymore. Someone should launch me to outer space. If you have read my blog, Memories Are A Necessity, then you would know that the nearest bus stop to my workplace is about a kilometre away. I was happy to be on my way back home early. The traffic was as usual on a National Highway. Just like every day, I tried carefully crossing the highway. I crossed one side and reached the road-divider. Right opposite to where I stood impatiently is an intersection where the service road meets the highway. All I could see from my point of view were the speeding vehicles moving towards the city from the Bengaluru International Airport and a privately owned bus rashly charging ahead like a bull. The number of vehicles reduced, and I moved to the middle of the lane just as the privately owned bus and a motorbike moved ahead together. As I looked to my left to check if any other vehicles are nearing me when I heard someone anxiously calling out loud. I thought that bull of a bus rammed into that motorbike ridden by a man with a young girl in the pillion. I was wrong.

The motorbike had hit an old man and all three of them, along with the motorbike, had slid for about 20 feet further on the highway. All this happened in a matter of two seconds as I gawked and by the time I ran towards them, the man and the girl pushed away their motorbike and got back on their feet. I ran towards the old man who laid face down on the hot and glistening tar. I tried to pull him up and thankfully another Samaritan came along to help. Together we dragged this old man, and we made him sit with his back against the barricades lining the sides of the highway. That’s when I saw that he was bleeding in his face and badly bruised. Still conscious, he was wounded near his eye on the right side and the cut ran down to his cheekbones. Thin fragile man, who must be in his 50s, would have gone blind if he was hit in the eye instead of the side of the eye. I looked back to find more people helping the motorist and the girl move to the side of the highway to avoid further accidents. They were not badly hurt and had escaped with minor scratches.

While we were making them drink water and help them stay conscious, passing-by vehicles were slowing down and stopping to get a glimpse of what happened. We had already called for an ambulance, but there were none in sight. We were calling out for auto rickshaws to help us take the old man, the motorist and the girl to a nearby hospital, but none came forward. People, who stopped by to watch, turned their vehicles around and went their way when we asked them to help us. Finally, we blocked the way of an auto rickshaw and forced the driver to take them to the nearest hospital.

Though there were none clicking selfies or good pictures of the accident scene, it was a plight that people didn’t come forth and help the actual needy. It is not a big deal you give alms to beggars who have all their body parts and standing straight while begging and can actually work hard to make a living. Does your conscience not prick you when you face off from the scene of need? I witnessed it today the extent of indifference and stupidity of our society.

While I ran towards the old man, I saw the motorist and the girl get back on their feet. What shocked me was that the girl who must be a teenager stood up in the middle of the highway and cried instead of reaching the roadside for safety. She is flapping her arms, hopping in her place and wailing. Parents, or just adults, please teach children to be brave and to think on their feet, especially teach young girls when to be girly or graceful and when to shed their image and save their lives. Later others had dragged the girl to the side of the highway. You can say I am judging a teenage girl, but if another racing vehicle had hit her, then all we would do is pity her and her family.

Before the motorbike hit the old man, I had not even observed him. To be frank, I know not from where he came. Maybe he got down from the speeding bus and tried to cross the highway in the same momentum. I knew for sure that the motorist was not speeding. The sudden appearance of the old man from behind the bus must have startled him. Later another man came into the picture. This man turned out to be a friend of the bruised old man and was with him when the motorbike hit his friend. I didn’t ask him what exactly happened and all those journalism questions. This man asked his wounded friend to get up and walk. There is a wounded man unable to even talk and his friend is what, a moron? He made me wonder if his brain was in a state of shock for he asked a stupid thing to do.

On top of all these happenings, there are onlookers who give their expert opinions about what happened without being of any help. They are the actual nuisance. With still no signs of an ambulance, I left the spot with blood-stained clothes after sending the accident victims to the nearby hospital.

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