Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Speed thrills, but Kills!

Speed thrills, but Kills! How many times have we read this at the traffic signals and how many times have we ignored it? Have we ever given it a thought? Well I haven’t and I am sure there are many more like me who have never given a shit to it.

I love speed. Whenever I am on bike I feel like a superhero who can do whatever he feels like and I ride fast-very fast. I believe that bikes and cars are meant to be driven fast. I love to drive in a zigzag manner. I just can’t explain how much I enjoy speeding just before the humps and the feeling when bike jumps over them is thoroughly ecstatic. It is a mixture of thrill, excitement and pride that I have done something which generally people cannot do or don’t want to do or don’t have the balls to do. But not any more. Now I am forced to think that what have I gained by riding fast, jumping over the humps?? Confucius says- we don’t understand things when told to us and learn only either from our mistakes or from others; like I did.

It was a fine Tuesday morning. My friend’s cousin took out his dad’s car at 4’o clock in the morning (without his parent’s consent since they were out of town and we guys consider it against our pride to take advice from our sisters) and went out for a stroll. Just like any other adolescent lad he was driving fast. He was with one of his friends. Suddenly a bicycle came in front of him; he tried to evade but couldn’t and hit the bicycle from behind and ran over the man who was riding it. Then while trying to run he hit the car into an electric pole and smashed the wall next to it. His friend suffered major injuries in the head and he had minor bruise. The man on the bicycle died on the spot. He was some 23 years old or so. A life so precious was snuffed in seconds!

Till now I had just read in papers about the hit and run cases but the first time I realized its seriousness was when the same had happened to someone I know. This made me think about the consequences of driving fast. While driving we feel that our pa owes the road and we can drive in whichever manner we feel like. After being aware of this accident I asked myself a few questions which I couldn’t answer. Why do we do all this?? Do we consider driving fast, jumping over the humps or wheeling as our style statement?? Do we drive fast because we love speed, or we do it just to impress girls or is there some other reason behind it?? Do we drive fast to save our time?? Well, I don’t think it could be the reason because anyways we will get stuck at the traffic signals. Ok even if we save some time by driving fast, it doesn’t makes any sense to me because we are taking a huge risk by driving fast which is not at all worth doing. I don’t think driving fast is an act of chivalry anymore; neither will I be getting any award for the valor. I prefer driving slow rather than regretting the follies later in my life.

All I have to say is that I have learned a very big lesson from this and I promise myself to drive slowly, stop jumping the bike over humps and stop ridding in a zigzag way. And just a piece of advice to all. We all have heard this 1000 times and also have ignored it 1000 times - people please drive slowly, follow the traffic rules and don’t drink and drive. You will not gain anything by doing so. Life is short, don’t make it shorter.

Speed is 5 letter word and so is Death.
Slow is 4 letter word and so is Life.
Better late than never.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A true Indian....

DISCLAMAIR: This post has been written without any intention of dishonoring anyone living or dead. The author has nothing personal against any individual.

In 2003, as a ‘proud Kannadiga’, he bought back to Karnataka Tipu Sultan’s sword from England for Rs 1.5 crore. Two years later, he put down a million pounds at a Sotheby’s auction in London to purchase some more Tipu’s items. In 2009, as a ‘true Indian’, he bought metal-rimmed glasses, sandals, pocket watch, bowl and plate for $1.8 million in a controversial New York auction.

I am a little confused. I am confused about who a true Indian is? Is it a soldier who gives away his life while fighting for us? Is it a pilot who crashes in the mountains, evading it from crashing into the city, without caring about his own life? Is it a honest taxi driver who returns a bag back to his passengers who had forgotten in his taxi and does not accept any favors in return or is it a poor-hungry man who gives his food to the people who are starving, in spite of the fact that he does not have sufficient food to feed himself and his family. Is it a young girl who along with her friends, goes every month to an orphanage and sponsors a days meal? Or someone who spends crores of rupees to bring back to India, the possessions of someone, who is no more alive ????

The World Bank has estimated that a third of the global poor now reside in India. The planning commission of India has estimated that 27.5% of the population is living below the poverty line. Literacy rate is 61%. There are lakhs of people who have no proper home,living in slums and footpaths. I just can’t understand one thing. When there are so many needy and poor people then why not to help the destitute instead of spending so much money to bring back the belongings of someone; even though that someone is the one because of who we are free today. I am sure that if he had been alive, he would have cried at the situation. And what are we going to do with this stuff?? We will put them in a museum for people to look at it. Spending so much money just for this doesn’t make any sense to me.

I was discussing this with one of my friends. He said it’s his money, his wish. I am no one to say things like this.Yeah right! Who the hell am I to comment on this. But as I said; I am a little confused. I am confused that I have an objection of people calling him a true Indian or his spending his own money in such a way. Is it correct to waste so much money on this when the same can be used for making the country a better place?? May be it is correct because its his own money, may be it is more important to waste crores like this when the same can be doled out to help the needy, may be its just my narrow mindness which is not letting me see the bigger picture, may be its just my mind which doesn't know the meaning of a 'true indian' or may be I should mind my own business as it's his own money. So many may be's.. Aahhhh....I am confused....

P.S: This post has been written in a hurry without any RnD. I have no clue if that ‘true Indian’ is actually involved in any kind of charitable activities. I apologize if I hurt anyones feelings or emotions.