Rush Hour for Office. People waiting for Metro to come at the station. Lots of People. A Girl is descending the stairs from the other side. Talking on her mobile. Her mind slipped. And her leg too. One false step and she comes crashing down from the last 3-4 stairs. Her bag is thrown. Her mobile split in parts. She is on her knees at the bottom of the stairs. May be she is hurt. May not be too bad. May be she is in pain. But, of the 60 odd people waiting for the metro, nobody moves. The only flexing of the muscles is of the neck. That moves for everyone. They turn and stare. One girl is barely a meters away from her, typing something on her phone and she sees the girl, waits and then continues on her phone. Says nothing. Does Nothing. Ditto for all others who are nearer to her.I walk the few metres and go to her and ask,'are you OK?'. She looks up and says, she is fine and then lifts herself. Slowly. Picks her bag. Picks her mobile and its parts. Gets up. Goes to the platform and then waits for the train to come. Then, all heads turn back. Everything normal.
On another day, a blind man was making his way out of the metro station. Feeling the path ahead with his stick. I was few meters behind him and could see people passing him and on their way without noticing. I admit I would have done the same, if I had not seen him almost crashing himself to the wall ahead. There were lots of people near him, but no one reached him and held his hand. I ran and caught him just in time and guided him towards the stairs.
Inaction. But due to what? Too busy to notice? Unwilling to notice? Too late to reach somewhere? Why do we hesitate first before extending help? I do not know, if it is just a big city problem, but definitely, being 'too pre-occupied' with ourselves has been on the rise in the mega cities. It may have something to do with 'not trusting the strangers', but how can we forget, that in the begining everyone was a stranger to everyone. If we had not talked to strangers at first, we would not have made any friends. Virtually, 'arranged-marriages' are meeting of two strangers and hoping they would not 'self-destruct'.
At Gaya station (my hometown), at Platform No 1, on the pillars supporting the structure, are written some of the classic lines mentioned by Gautam Budha. (Not surprising, since Buddha found enlighment at Bodhgaya*,a mere 8 kms from where I live). I do not remember every sentence which is written, but the one which I remember profoundly is -
'agar jiska dukh ho, wahi dur kare, to haath ka dukh pair kyun nahi dur karta?'
Do I need to explain more?
Very recently, My papa met with a very serious accident (head on collision between 10 tyre dumper and bike). Without going into the details, by the looks of it, he is very very lucky to survive, let alone getting away without any head injury or fracture. And lot of credit goes to the hundred of locals, who wasted no time in looking and staring. They found help, rescued my dad who was stuck between the road and the tyres. Took him aside, called a local doctor. And I can not thank them enough. But, surprisingly, in big cities, standing and staring is what we all seem to do, unless the nearest traffic police comes and they do some more looking and then deciding what to do.
We were definitely not like this. Is our new found glamor, money, development making us insensitive inside? Is increasing our standards of living eating our ethics? How can we even imagine to get our country free of ills, when we can not even stretch hand to lift someone who has fallen from stairs?
In our quest to ascend the ladder of development, we might have left something crucial, down below. I hope, its still not too late, to sit down and pull that ingredient up and put it where it belongs. Our Heart.
Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisar
Kisi ka dard mil sake to le udhaar
Kisi ke waaste ho tere dil mein pyaar
Jeena isi ka naam hai
I am not implying that I am without any faults. At times, numerous times, I have hesitated. Have Not done things, when action was required. But, still, I am not stone. We do not have to be dead inside. To Live Outside.
*Travel Promotion for Bodhgaya - Its a wonderful Place. Absolutely wonderful. Coming from a person, who has traveled a bit, you can take my word for it. :D
Enough of serious posts. Next blog coming up on my favorite topic. Travel. :P