Friday, May 29, 2009

When in Pune, I commuted by scooter. In the course of riding a two-wheeler for a decade, I have had my share of accidents. The worst of those had me skidding down a hill when entangled with my scooter. Today I still have minor scars on my left arm and a left knee that is so badly scarred that doctors think those marks are acid burns. It also aches like crazy for the silliest reasons- when it feels a draft, when I am tense about work/life, or just because. And you know what? I am lucky. I was wearing a helmet at the time, and I still have what is left of it. The left jaw of that helmet has been shaved away till the inner foamy lining. That could have been my face.

Why am I telling you these gory details? Because I went to see my mum off at the Delhi airport and a man died in front of me.

He was riding his bike on the highway, with his helmet on his head but unstrapped. A car knocked him down, and his helmet rolled away. I called 100 to report the accident, and the response did not reassure me in the least. He was young, and I don't think his family and friends deserved this.

A few kilometers later, I saw another young man getting on his bike. He leaped onto it, slammed his helmet onto his head, and zoomed off- buckle straps flapping. The utter idiot. I was so angry, I wanted to go up to him and HIT him.

So please, people. Don't wear the helmets just because the traffic chaps will pull you over..The safe-sex campaign has hopefully taught us that it's cool to be responsible. Extend this to other areas too (no, that was not a pun!). Wear a helmet, buckle a seat belt. Please.

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