Saturday, 2 August 2014

Whose Fault?

It was a Monday late afternoon. I was going to college on a bus as usual. When the bus took a turn at Nayabaato, Kirtipur, I realized that there was something wrong somewhere between Laboratory School and Tribhuvan University gate. Suddenly, I saw a bicycle lying down on the road. The bus conductor got off to
examine the situation, and shouted that there seemed to be a man beneath the bicycle. The bus stopped abruptly. The conductor rushed to the spot. Immediately, he returned running and reported, "Oh, my God! There is a man and he is dead!" My heart started beating faster. I wanted to avoid the gory scene. That day, unfortunately, I was on the front seat and the bus was not crowded. Our bus moved forward slowly. Unlucky me! I could not evade the heart-rending scene that was just before me.

Oh, lord! There was about 10-12 meter long thin trail of blood on the tarred road. At the end of this, a little boy of about 12 was lying upside down with the bicycle upon him and a small puddle of blood in front of his head. How do you feel when you see such a dreadful scene unexpectedly? I do not know about others' feelings but I felt an intense pain deep inside my heart. My inner self was cursing the nasty truck driver who knocked the rider down and dragged the fragile boy to death. The driver was cruel and inhuman to take the little boy's invaluable life in no time. I am sure he must have seen the child struggling with his bicycle.

Even though the bus had already moved forward, the terrible scene took hold of me. My heart was heavy, and my mind was wandering towards the dead boy. Who was he? Who were his parents? They may have been working hard somewhere to make their little darling's future better; most probably he was their only child? How would they bear this sudden and tremendous loss? How would they accept this cruel reality? These and many more other questions flashed into my mind. The motherly part of my personality was sobbing for the poor mother who was unaware of her love's demise. She may have have been buying something special for him.

The horrible scene haunted me badly for many days. It has been about a month that I encountered that untimely death, the pain inside me is still fresh. I have been wondering, in fact, whose fault was that? The boy's? His parents'? Or the driver's? Or is it the weak law that encouraged the driver to kill the person rather than taking him to the hospital? We cannot blame the boy and get rid of the problem because we know children are not mature enough to take right decisions all the time. Yes, his parents could be cautious beforehand not to allow their son to cycle on the main road at any cost. In my opinion, the most responsible person behind the accident was the driver. He must have seen the child from far away. Another important thing to consider is that the place where this incident happened is a school area; so, there must be speed limitation for vehicles.

I have heard that the driver is in police custody, and he will be released if he pays Rs. 17,000. What kind of law is this? A human life costs only Rs. 17,000? Who fixed that value? Will the driver find the amount appropriate if he loses his child in such an unjustified way?

(Published in an English Daily The Kathmandu Post on Monday, April 18, 2005)

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]

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I would appreciate any and all suggestions on making improvements (as long as they are viable).