Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Great Indian Attitude

We who boast about our great culture and high morals when compared to the rest of the world. This incident is a testimony to the delusion many God-fearing cultured Indians love and are very proud of. I am sure a plethora of such incidents occur every other day, just that nobody writes about them. How morally depraved we have become and how used to being depraved are we?

"The young man crossed. He ran across. All it took was a fraction of a second. I could've imagined it, but, I saw a bike actually speeding up as he ran across the road. The bike hit him. The young man was lying on the road. Blood was pouring out of what seemed like a huge yawning hole on his left temple. We all saw it. We watched shocked. A second later a bus slightly to the right of the young man decided it had to move. It did. It ran over him. Over his arm and the right side of his body. It then stopped later. It was a DTC.

I wanted to help. So I asked. Was anyone going to take him to hospital? Then I shut up, because I heard people talking about how much money they could make out of this. One man said no-one should move him, because if he died there then they all could make more money. I was bewildered. It was like I had got transported to someplace barbaric. To a place in the dark ages.

Then I said something. I called an auto- asked the driver if he would take me and the man to hospital. The auto driver thought... and thought and thought. Finally he demanded a hundred and fifty rupees, I didn't have time to bargain. The distance was worth thirty. Amongst a lot of abuses, threats and such I managed to hoist the man into the auto. In the auto I searched his pockets to find a number I could call--only to find his pockets ripped off and empty. His money had been stolen. People had searched his pockets before I got there.

We reached Safdarjung Hospital. At nine the trauma care centre was devoid of any patients. The man and lady at the reception made me wait for a half-hour while they completed some paper work, despite my protests. They then brought out a sheaf of papers. Asked me if I was a relative, because only then would they allow surgery. I called him Senthil and signed as his sister. They brought him in on a stretcher. Then they left him there in the lobby with me for forty-five minutes, I timed it. When I asked why they were taking so long-- they said they had sent someone to stamp the papers and couldn't begin till they arrived. At long last the took him into the OT.

I took an auto back to Yusuf Sarai. I had missed the first three classes of the day. There were two more to go. The crowd had largely disappeared. The bus, its driver, conductor, a couple of touts, the bike owner and a large beefy policeman stood in a small circle pointing to the blood stains. From a distance, I imagined that justice just might be on its way. I went up to the policeman saying I was an eyewitness and would be happy to give a statement.

He looked at me curiously. I looked at the bus driver and the bike owner holding two five hundred rupee notes each in their hands. The police man had already collected a thousand. He tore the complaint notice in half in front of me. I asked what he was doing. He told me not to worry. He said the matter had been resolved. The bus driver, conductor and policeman left for Chai together. The bike owner drove off nervously."

Krishna, where are you?
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