Prajyot was his name, which means the flame within. Now, it remains mortified in a news section of ‘death by accident’. Just three days ago, I was commuting on my daily route, and I saw a crowd gathered on the roadside, with glass pieces shattered and blood spilt all over the road. It didn’t take me long to realise that there had been an accident. As I was driving my scooter, I slowed down to look at the crowd. A blood-soaked chappal came under the tyre of my bike, giving me goosebumps and weakening my knees. It crossed my mind that something terrible must have happened to this accident victim.
As I reached my destination, I was still in a state of shock from the gravity of the blood spilt scene. Everyone was talking about it; a speeding SUV had hit a young boy who was eighteen years old, and he was bleeding profusely. As I came back home and got busy with my daily routine, the thoughts of this young boy shuttled through my mind. As I had feared, the next day an acquaintance told me that the boy could not make it. He died on his way to the hospital. The doctors informed his relatives that he was brought dead. He died, and with him died the dreams of his widowed mother. With him, a protective elder brother died too. He was a young engineering student who had lost his father ten years ago, and now he lived with his mother and a younger brother.
In a matter of seconds, life had turned upside down for his family. But this is not just one incident, every day at some road or the other, people drive irresponsibly and hurt or accidentally kill someone. When we drive on the road, we should always remember that there are people around us, and their lives are as precious as ours. We must keep in mind that everyone has their loved ones waiting for them to come back home.
Every day I see so many young people driving heavy bikes at high speed; navigating through small gaps and sometimes performing stunts on the roads. There is nothing wrong with being adventurous, but one should also follow the rules, and remember that there is a right place and a right time for everything. Roads are not the correct place to indulge in showing off ‘adventurous’ driving skills by putting other people’s lives at stake. By driving recklessly, these speed lovers not only risk their own lives but put the lives of innocent people in danger too. A life lost in a road accident puts a tremendous jerk to all the people attached to the victim. Such a victim could be an only child or the sole breadwinner of the family. The hopes and aspirations of the family are also lost with this person.
The laws on rash driving need to be more stringent in our country. We should try to invoke sensitivity in the younger generation towards the life of others, so that they can act more responsibly on the roads and think twice before endangering their life, as well as others – just for the sake of speed and fun.
Sometimes, when I speed up in a hurry to pick up my son from school, I recall his innocent face waiting for me. I slow down, as I know he can wait for a few more minutes, but I can’t break his hope, love, and faith if I don’t reach due to an unwanted incident. When you love someone, you want to live your life for that person, taking care of them always. Everyone should realise that their loved ones are always waiting for them to return home.
This reminds me of a wife’s dialogue to her commando husband, in a famous Hindi movie. Whenever he used to leave for his duty, she would say, “Bas marna mat”. It may sound humorous, but these little words hold concern, love, and fear of losing a loved one.
My heart goes out to Prajyot’s mother who could not be with her son in those last moments, could not hear him one last time, and could not even run her hand in his hair to make him rest in peace forever. Please, let’s be more careful when we drive so that no mother loses her son this way, and no flames are ever lost again.