Friday, November 18, 2005

Those car people...

A rather sad thing to see...
I was riding to work today on my scooty. As usual i had to cross the crowded kathipara junction to get to my work place. All of a sudden, i noticed an argument going on in front of me. One guy was shouting at another who was on a cycle. The cyclist, i noticed, held a rearview mirror in his hand. He appeared repentant of whatever he had done. The other man kept pointing to a car and then the rearview mirror. It was only then that i saw the car.

In the back seat of the car, there were two men. Business executives, it looked like. They appeared rather prosperous and were reading the Economic Times. They did not appear to be bothered by the altercation that was going on between the driver (by then i had deduced that the man who has shouting at the cyclist had to be the driver) . The driver gestured to the car and asked the cyclist to apologise. The cyclist went hesitantly to the back door and said something. The driver meanwhile got into his seat. And then it seemed to me, that the driver asked the cyclist to pay up for the rearview mirror damaged. ( i had by then realised taht the cyclist in his haste to get to wherever he was going to.. had knocked off the rearview mirror from the car. It was for this that he was being given the punishment by the driver.) I was shocked when one of the business executives at the back of the car reached and hand out and took something from the driver. It looked like a hundred rupee note.

I don't know why this incident disturbs me so much. All said and done, the cyclist was definitely in the wrong. He had flouted traffic rules, damaged the car and endangered his own life in the process. At the least he would need to pay up for the damanges he had caused. But it was the attitude of the guys at the back which bothered me so much. Why were they so ready and willing to accept the money from the man? Did a rearview mirror matter so much? Would it not have been enough to just give the man a telling-off to and then forgetting the matter? After all, the man had not done anything that the car driver would not have done. And these executives, to whom a hundred rupees was not even going to cover the expense of a day.... Surely these people of all did not need the money???? Why did they take it from a hapless man who already looked like he had no money at all????? And the driver, surely he should have realised the poverty-stricken situation of the cyclist? Was he not in a better position compared to the executives to appreciate the cruelties of poverty????

The whole drama seemed to me like a scene from a communist movie.. demonstrating the insensitivity of the bourgeois class and the haplessness of the impoverished... Like one of those moscow dachaus (isn't that the russian word for bungalows) when most of the other russians were living in match box like flats...

I am not very sure if indeed the cyclist gave money to the car people. But it certainly seemed like he did. And i lost a little of the firm belief i have in the goodness of humans today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good start, that's the easy part.

The difficulty is finding things to comment on regularly.Anyway will manage to comment regularly.

Its really painful to read that people out here are turning to be inhuman.The love towards fellow humans is slowly dying out.

And as far as the incident is concerned, with 100 rupees those guys cannot get a rear view mirror, but all that those guys can get is the satisfaction of punishing that cyclist, for who 100 rupess must have been an big amount.Sadistic attitude!!!!!!!!