Monday, 1 December 2008
There is neither a cartoon nor a light hearted image for this post. It is about sad, pathetic and impersonal being that we have become!
Today morning, dad and I left home at 0800hrs for dad's dental appointment. His appointment was at 0930hrs and we were hoping to reach Def Col early to grab a quick breakfast at Sagar. We started early to beat the traffic blues...and had been fairly successful as we crossed Dhaula Kuan in 25 minutes. We looked at the time, nodded to each other to convey we are cruising just fine.
Soon afterwards, while coming down the Moti Bagh flyover - we heard a crash. Dad saw this first and immediately alerted me to it. We were in the right-most lane and there was an accident happening in front of us in the middle lane. A car (Chevy Spark) had hit a bike from the rear-end. That had caused the loud sound, but what we witnessed after that is completely crazy...
Car hit the bike so hard that it caused the biker to come over and fall on its windscreen, smashing it. Then the biker fell on the road, thankfully he had his helmet strapped on and still protecting his head. The moment biker hit the road, since Spark was still accelerating, he came under the car. Till now, it appeared to be an accident where anyone could be at fault. I honestly do not know whether it was just one person's wrong-doing, I am not sure if it was just the Spark's driver at fault or if the biker had made a mistake as well.
All this while, people around were slowing down - so as not to cause any further damage to either the biker or even ourselves. The moment Spark crossed over the bike and the biker, it started to catch speed. It didn't take long for dad and I to realise that this was now turning from just an accident to a hit and run case. Since it was still early hours on a wintery morning, there wasn't much traffic on roads and this must have given Spark's driver confidence that he could get away with it.
When I saw him speeding, something inside me told me to follow him. I just could not imagine him running away like that, in broad day light. There was another person who reacted in the same fashion, this guy was slightly ahead of me. This guy tried to stop Spark, but feared his relatively new car could be hit as well. What he managed to do was slow down Spark and I took on Spark from there. Driving an old lancer, I knew two things were in my favour - one, I had a bigger stronger car that would allow me to over-power this guy and second, if the need be, I didn't mind ramming my car into his to make him stop.
It was a matter of seconds that this first of my life chase came to an end. The first factor, of having a stronger-bigger car with the confidence that it is an old horse, was enough to bring Spark to a standstill. My car's passenger door was inches away from Spark's driver side doors. I didn't want him to get out and start running, which I felt this guy was capable of. Just as soon as we stopped, I got down of my car and rushed to the passenger side of Spark - I think I was abusing this guy by now. I told him to stay where he was and not try coming out.
I was contemplating calling police, but before that about three-four other two-wheelers gathered around there. Apparently these guys had also witnsessed the accident. One of them got into Spark and landed a few fists on the driver's face. Then more joined in the party, dragged the driver out and thrashed him. I don't think they cared where their boxes and kicks landed as long as they hurt this driver. In all this, someone made a call to the police as well.
When the situation started heating like mob-anger, my dad convinced me to leave that scene. I think he was right in pulling me out of there, I could do nothing more. He had his rationale working...he didn't want us to be involved in a police case. In his years, he has seen a lot and dealt with such situations as well. Dad's view point was simple, we should not have allowed Spark's driver to get away and we did that. From there on, the way things turned - we were not required there anymore. So we left...went ahead with our plans, still reached Def Col with enough time for our breakfast, then met dad's dentist and came back home.
With all this happening about 8-9 hours ago, but I still cannot shrug off the entire incident from my mind. I am feeling guilty of something, but I don't know what. I realise I did something good in stopping Spark's driver and not allow him to run away, but I am feeling bad about the way he was bashed up...This guy looked a decent and educated, who had fear written all over his face. I think his biggest mistake was to try and flee from the accident scene, which could be simply because his brain stopped thinking straight and there wasn't any rational thought left in him.
There is another aspect to my feeling bad...I somehow understand that people like us do not wish to get entangled in police cases, but I know as well that is not how things should be. I don't know whether this is a shortcoming of our system, our administrators, our police officials, or are we ourselves to blame for it. But what I felt for the first time today and felt it first-hand that there is very little respect that we have for one another, that we have very little understanding of the law, that we have very little respect for law-enforcement agencies, that we have very little respect for the system that we love to abuse - but do little to follow it.
I have written earlier about a phenomenon - WISIR. That post came out true in its darkest shade today. Guys, I implore you to wake up and realise that we ourselves break many laws in our daily lives, we are to blame for the system to suck and stink and that we have the responsibility to clean ourselves first!
As a beginning, I am sure that I would try to be a better driver henceforth...hopefully you all shall realise one thing that you could improve in your daily lives as well.
Posted by Mudit Aggarwal at 16:37