By Minu Jaiswal:
I have finally gathered the courage to collect my thoughts and talk about something which left me speechless for so long. I know that it actually takes a lot of courage to change the world. And I lack it. My education is a sheer waste if I can’t save a man dying in front of me. My life is a waste if I can’t act upon what I want to do.
I was travelling to my hometown Kolkata in April 2014. My train, Punjab Mail, departed late from the station Bhadohi. I was sitting in the corner seat near the window when the train halted at the Mughal Sarai station.
I was looking outside the window, and just looking at a train. All of a sudden, there was a loud sound. The sound was an electric blast. It happened right above a train on the other track just across the platform, and below a crossing bridge. I got up instantly and moved to see this. What I noticed were back-to-back, two-three blasts of fire. I got the shock of my life, when I saw a man burning on the train and people running to move out of the train assuming it to be a fire inside the train. But, the moment they realised that it was not going to affect them, they boarded the train again and were very much relaxed!
Video of the incident captured by a bystander, verified by the author. Source: YouTube
In front of my eyes, that man was burning, trembling in pain and I stood right inside my compartment just staring at him in shock, tears trickling down my eyes. I was praying, hoping that someone would come to his rescue, and the man kept crying in pain, his body burning all over like a fire-cracker. People said that maybe he touched electric wires of 40,000 watts.
“See, this is India,” suddenly my sister commented. Hearing this, I looked out of the window and noticed that there were a group of people making a video, and I was stunned to see this. Stunned to see that they did not make an attempt to save him but found making a video more important. I asked my dad, “Why isn’t anybody helping him out?” He replied, “They are waiting for the railway authorities.” Angry, I shouted at him, “Should we wait until he dies?” I could smell human flesh burning, and, it felt so horrible! I just wanted to run out and help that man! But I do not know why, I just stood still! The burning stopped after he was half burnt and he was still lying there, crying out in pain. But no one made an effort to save him. Everyone said even they could be hurt in the attempt of saving him so why risk it?
Suddenly, he started moving himself to get up. After trying a lot, he fell off from the top of the train. It must have hurt so much! I could literally feel his pain! My train started moving, and then I saw the railway station authorities coming to save him. I turned my face around because I couldn’t see this anymore. Later my father told me that they just picked him up and left. That man, of course, did not deserve that kind of ‘pain’, or shall I say death, if he did not survive. And even if he at all survived, he possibly would not wish for what was clearly going to be a painful life ahead with the kind of burns he had sustained.
I do not know if that man is alive, if he is fine. People never tried to save him. But, they had all the time in the world to sit and discuss how he reached there! Some said he must have fallen down from the bridge, some said he was mentally disturbed so climbed up the train and some said, perhaps, he must have been a thief trying to escape!
Even now when I think about the incident, of that man, everything flashes in front of my eyes. I can’t erase those images from my memory. I can’t ever forget the trembling of that man. I felt so helpless and paralysed for being unable to help him. It is human nature to be selfish, and only think about oneself and one’s development. But is it correct to let another man perish and revel in his pain by taking videos of him? Instead of gathering forces to help that man, everyone kept mum and waited for the railway authorities to do their job. It is our responsibility to help fellow human beings and support them during times of distress. I wish I could have done something that day, and I do hope the man is alive, wherever he is.
Featured image for representation only. Source: Ath-har Saeed/Flickr