Ranjini, I am proud of your merciful heart. I congratulate your daughter Vishnupriya for standing by you.
There is no limit to joy when we come across people who are still compassionate towards the others. I am proud of those burning candles but at a loss of words for those who have blown out their lights to seek entertainment in tragedy. Why are we like this?
I had had a tragic experience like Saji, fallen in the street and waiting for help. That experience was painful and yet comforting. I was trying to cross the road after going to the Jawahar Balabhavan at Kowdiar an evening three decades ago. I was accompanied by a younger colleague. A two-wheeler without even a headlight rammed me. The rider just sped away without a thought for the woman thrown onto the road.
I hit my head on the divider on the road. My associate tried to flag down any vehicle that would take me to a hospital. No one stopped. They hastened when they saw that a person had met with an accident. Finally, a judge’s car came from the museum compound. He got down and took me to the hospital in his car.
I watched Saji’s ordeal on television. People just stood there watching him. Some others slowed down their vehicles only to have a look at the victim and go their ways. Nobody wanted to save the unconscious man.
Ranjini Ramanandan and Vishnupriya could have gone their ways too. Or they could have taken out their mobile phones to record the man lying in a pool of blood. After all, that is how Kerala treats the road accident victims.
The mother and the daughter were on their way to a wedding reception. They were shocked to see the accident victim and the people around him. They appealed to the people for help. No one budged. Ranjini and Vishnupriya tried to lift Saji as the others looked on. When they could not move the man, they pleaded with folded hands to the spectators.
Ranjini got a greater shock when she called up a hospital for help. The hospital staff said that they would do the needful if the victim were brought there. Finally, a handful of youngsters came forward to carry Saji into a vehicle.
The accounts of cruelty are stranger than fiction. Compassion has no place in our measures of development. In my experience, unkind people are increasing.
We all like to say we are one yet no one really means it. We all walk the streets. When one of us fall by the wayside, we must help her. Our streets are full of bodies in motion with no heart in them. Still, people like Ranjini and Vishnupriya offer us solace. Let your hearts spread the light for our society.
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