Friday, April 17, 2015

Accidents - it happens only to others. Not me.

My dad had a myocardial infraction, in lay mans terms heart attack. We admitted him and he was in ICU for a couple of days before his bypass operation.

In the 2 days I was waiting at the doors of ICU, I observed atleast 3 cases of serious head injuries - all of them men between 25 to 30 ish years. All of them riding a two wheeler. A basic helmet might cost probably in the region of Rs 1000. I am sure that the injuries could have been less severe.

One particular scene still fresh in my memory, a young lady not more than 25 years old was a state of utter despair, tears flooding her eyes, holding on to what I thought was her mangalsutra, and looking down at her badly injured husband, he was in a coma. The nurse attending the victim, advice her that he can still hear and and probably see her, and she needs to stay positive and radiate hope. This girl immediately wiped her tears and tried to put up a brave face. All this was happening when they were taking the injured man for an MRI scan.

I later learned that the man was riding a motorbike and was hit by a bus and thrown off. 

That scene will stay with me for the rest of my life. That moment was a stark reminder of the fragile nature of life. Everything that we think is a long term and important and the things we take for granted, our dreams, our wishes, our achievements, our great success stories - all of it, is just one blow away from tragic consequences.

It is one thing where my dad who is 72 years old, who has completed his duty towards his parents, family, has had the pleasure of playing with his grand children and has experienced a relatively good & long life, ending up in the ICU with a life threatening condition. It is a completely different thing where a 30 something chap, ending up in a life threatening condition leaving behind a devastated wife, desperate parents, god only knows if the couple had any kids or not. 

And to think that this was completely avoidable, by a simple act of wearing a helmet, made me wonder why? Why people don't value their lives? In Thanjavur, I saw 3 people wearing a helmet out of possibly several thousand two wheelers. The attitude among riders seems to be "Accidents are something that happens to others, not me". It is true that out of a hundred thousand riders, only a few hundred end up in an accident and end up with nasty head injuries. However, when you are the victim of an accident, 100% of you gets into trouble and guess which body part gets knocked about the most? 

Its easy to blame governments and law enforcing agencies and say, they have not made helmets mandatory or police is not penalizing offenders who wouldn't wear helmets. I respectably point out that that's utter bullshit. Its your life, you don't need a frickin government to tell you that.

I think that people who respect and love their spouses, parents, children and most of all themselves wear helmets, others are just waiting to become an accident statistic.

PS: At the time of writing this article the Girl is still waiting for her husband to regain his consciousness . He was moving in and out of consciousness,  and she has not lost hope. Its been 15 days since the accident. She and her husband are in my prayers.

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