Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That Saturday in Metro

Last Saturday, I went to Delhi to see my cousin. A very interesting incident happened while I was in the metro train from Rajiv Chowk (Connaught Place) to Yamuna Bank. There was a person travelling with his son. The child, who was around three years old, was really cute. But what drew my attention towards the father-son pair was the freedom which the man had given to his child in the train, especially when the train stopped and the automatic doors opened at the stations. The kid went near the doors and tried to act as if he would get down the train. Though this sent waves of fear down my spine and those of other passengers too, the two (father and son) seemed to enjoy this game a lot. A middle aged lady even warned the father about this obviously dangerous game they were playing but who listens these days? Everyone considers himself/herself smarter than the other. And who has the patient to silently stand/sit in a train for 10-15 minutes and enjoy the ride waiting for the destination? You might say, “Many have” but this person didn’t. This was quite visible in the train.

While the game continued, we reached Pragati Maidan station, where the climax of the entire drama was to be staged. After the doors opened and the child did his bit to amuse his father and the people around, the man moved out of the train all of a sudden with his son. It looked too weird to me. After all, why would anyone get down the train so long after the train came to a halt? May be, he had forgotten that this was the station where he had to get down he was just trying to show his smartness by getting down just in time. Many people consider it to be an act of smartness to board or leave the buses or trains in the last second. Or maybe it was another way of having fun while in the train. Well, as I was pondering over this, the doors began to close. The man was quick to realize this and he got into the train. But then he did a mistake. A mistake which is going to haunt him for a long time and more importantly, which perhaps taught him a lifelong lesson!! He left the hand of his son who couldn’t get into the train. This situation was too frightening. The man standing inside was shocked and had perhaps lost his voice for a moment. The kid, on the other hand, was screaming loudly outside trying to come near the train which was about to start in seconds while the father locked inside the train!! He could even fall from the platform on the tracks and then…………..

But then among the cries of "Jaldi karo, koi driver ko bolo” (be fast, someone tell the driver please), the doors opened and the child got in. Those who witnessed the drama got relieved, but most importantly the father got his nerves back.

After all this hullabaloo, started the ‘look, I had told you’ session. Though I generally don’t like listening to such session even if those are being delivered to someone else, I particularly liked this one. After all, the person’s foolishness had caused discomfort to other passengers (including me) who were in hurry to reach their destination.

And then what I saw surprised me more. The boy’s mother was also in the train but she had not spoken a word during the entire ‘fun & amusement’ episode. What a mother!! And what incredible parents!! And what kind of ‘rule breaker’ would the child grow into (well, breaking rules and having fun is what he must have been learning through all the experience)!!

This incident made me think over the consequences if something bad would have happened. What would have happened if the boy had actually fallen on the tracks? God forbid me but this was a possibility. Would the father have been at peace any day in his life? What about the mother? And more importantly, would he have done nothing in defaming Delhi Metro for the doors closed just in wrong time when he was having fun with his child breaching the safety rules? And most importantly, how would have the media presented it?

Well, I don’t want to go much into ‘what would have happened if…….’ but one thing is certain that some of the causalities around us take place because we are not very particular about the rules.

We generally take it as our birthright to enjoy ourselves without paying any heed to the rules. Or maybe we just want to have fun and get our business done without caring about anything. But while we do this, we must remember that ‘Lady Luck’ doesn’t care about us every day and there is no way to find out about her mood until something (bad) actually happens!!

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