Sunday, January 9, 2011

Road accidents

Ever witnessed a road accident? I can't sleep for nights on end when I hear about a road accident death.

It happened again, yesterday, when we received the news of the death of an officer my husband had served with on INS Rajput over four years ago...a young, able bodied, "mast", full-of-life, father of two little ones, husband to a graceful and petite young woman, in a road Mumbai over a week ago. A friend gave us the news...and this is all we know. How, where, what about the family....all a mystery.

And yet, I can imagine the horryifying way he must have met his end...coz my hubby and I have been witnesses to two road accidents, one in which our effort managed to save a human life, and the second, we were too late. The young man was dead by the time we noticed his body lying in the middle of the road as we were returning from a party late one night.

His mangled body, the way his limbs had ripped apart from his torso, twisted, the way his brain lay splattered all over the tar road and the pools of blood that started to flow from the immobile body.... We'd been unable to sleep for many many days after that...and each time I hear of a death in a road accident, my mind goes back to that horrifying scene from five years ago.... The young man who had lost his life was just about 24 years old. He rammed his bike into a tractor trailer parked by the side of a busy industrial route. He was not wearing his helmet...because we found his helmet hung around the handle. The tractor had no tail lamps to warn that it was parked there. There were no street lamps too. The young man must have been at a reasonably good speed because the impact of the crash was all around. All the factors, multiplied together, and kaboom....ageing parents from Chandigarh lost their son, the Indian Navy lost an officer, a sister lost her brother....

Was the end of life meant to be so simple? A flash...and gone!!!!! How fragile our human body is...and look at how we treat it sometimes...little realising that when it matters, at that decisive moment, our muscles, bones, flesh...will fall apart like a pack of cards....

The man was not a very dear aquantaince really, but I keep thinking of the family he has left behind....of the little kids, the oldest a little over 6..... And these thoughts will dominate my mind every time I will get behind the wheel and try to nonsensically overtake that bus or car, or drive at break neck speed to make it to the appointment on time, or try stupid stunts like answering the mobile phone or fiddling with the airconditioning or changing the music channel.....or until the news of another death, of a friend, relative, acquaintance that brings back those horrible memories and make me swear that I will behave decently on the road. 

If I still forget it all, it will be ofcourse, just until I get knocked down someday and become a statistic.

Why don't we humans ever learn?????

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