Sunday, December 02, 2012

Dont let it bother you.. [337/365]

Earlier today, an employee from a city-based IT major met with a gruesome end.
25 year old Ameena Sheikh, working with Mphasis was killed instantly when she was hit by a taxi and run over by a city bus.
Now accidents are not uncommon in this city which has absolutely no civic sense but the news of this one shook me.

One look at the dingy subway which looks like it was dug out of a lump of concrete with shady men lurking in the shadows and you'll understand why she avoided the subway. This is replicated in nearly every subway and shaded overpass in the city. Sky bridges are nothing by glorified billboards with scant regard towards the old and differently-abled.

Reading the details of the incident, I sighed.
She tries to cross the divider, whose height was recently increased to discourage similar adventures and snags her burqa. She bends down to untangle it and is hit by a speeding taxi, in a stretch of road where he was not supposed, and she could have died the instant her head landed on the other side of the road, where a local commuter bus ran over whatever remained of her skull. People from the bus gather to watch, and Yeddy's convoy was diverted to another route. It barely mattered to him.

At what stage of our evolution did we loose our humanity, and our common sense?
I've been in cabs where the drivers have sped through traffic and on highways. I've cautioned and counseled many against speeding and when that wouldn't work, just asked for another driver. Recently I traveled in a mini-van that was speeding through a highway packed with inter-state trucks and motorbikes. Clutching the handle on the seat in-front, I was praying with my eyes wide open. We weaved through 5 kms of traffic in about 1 minute. For the cab driver, that was just another 'trip' completed.
He was competing with another cab driver and wanted to make it first to office so that he gets first preference for the next 'trip'. Nevermind the fact that he was groggy or that he was ferrying 15 terrified passengers silently praying for deliverance. That was the last time I got into that cab. Not that I believe I will never meet with an accident when I travel myself but because I can at-least control how careful (or careless) I am when I drive.

Ameena was just a statistic for the traffic department and while the cab driver and the bus driver was arrested, I doubt if that will change anything.
The minister has denied that there are anti-social elements in the subway. The commissioner has confirmed that there could be a possibility that things can improve and has promised to increase patrolling on that sector. There goes another constable's vacation request!
Can this remind pedestrians to not use their phones while crossing roads?
Will this teach taxi drivers to drive carefully?
Will this change anything besides the irreplaceable loss that her parents have suffered?
The company she works for will give her a minute of silence and her friends and colleagues will miss her for life.

The cops and the minister will forget this. The commuters who saw her mangled body and fragments of skull will probably never.
So don't let any of this really bother you.

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