Mean Street in Kochi

Jan 28, 20089:47 am.
Hey Guyz, Galz, Another experience to share with you. The day was Friday, 25th Jan., 2008 at around 5:28 pm. I saw a clutter around Soumya and the unusual hush and whispers. I sensed something was amiss. I glanced to my right and found Suma, Sinitha seated around Soumya, their face contorted and tensed. Soumya’s lips dry and chapped, lopsided slightly to the right. Now I was sure, it was something really serious. I put my hands to the handrest, gave an urgent push to my chair and lifted up to my feet. I cautiously approached the three to see if I was invited in the silent discussion that was on. They did not even glance at me approaching them. I asked Suma “What happened?”. Suma had lost the color on her face and her face was white. She told me in her hushed voice “Abhilash, Soumya’s sister had an accident. There is nothing serious. She is conscious, but she has been admitted to the Medical Trust hospital.”.
Suma normally speaks in a hushed voice. You can barely hear her, unless you take a step or two and be within the audible range. At this time, she was slightly better. Maybe the tension had driven her to vent out her feelings.
I did not talk to Soumya at this stage, thinking that I might be an obstacle in this moment of despair. I saw Soumya making her way to the entrance with leaden feet. Her hubby was downstairs waiting for her. I probably saw him the first time at this early hour leaving for home. I guess you are aware what the early hour means. ha ha ha. It’s no longer the 9 to 5 job, which our fathers and forefathers cherished. Nowadays, organizations without boundaries are the lifeline of the economy. A typical schedule in the office may last from 7 am to 12:30 am.
I packed up, wanting to go home since there were guests at my wife’s place. I had wanted to go and meet them. I bade the others the customary goodbye and made my way down and finally home. The evenings on the roads are such a nightmare. A nightmare for the pedestrian and the vehicle riders alike. The pedestrian will need to hone the sixth sense before they hit the streets. A bad, mean street with bikes, rickshaws, buses streaking past in their full throttle; blowing dust and making their mark on the roads. It is like the jungle law out here. Every driver wants to show that he is the boss.
I managed to join the main traffic flow like a tiny river joining the main river, only to be absorbed in the might and flow of the main river. Once I join the numerous bikes, cars and buses on the main street; I will only be known as another vehicle owner. A fellow pedestrian will consider me as another devil on the streets, out to make a mark; which I am not. I guess a lot of us here will agree to this.
With the usual traffic congestion until Vytilla junction, I managed to push, prod, make my way to the traffic signal. I was waiting for the signal to turn green. I glanced back and found a Maruti Esteem car, with a well dressed decent man at the steering. A bunch of kids with him in the back seat. I turned my head to the front, expectantly waiting for the signal to turn green. As usual, I wanted to get out of the traffic mess, with the engines revving up and waiting to be put into gear when the signal is favorable. Within moments, the traffic light turned green. By then, the accelerators on the vehicles were being peaked up to make a perfect takeoff. Suddenly I saw the same Maruti Esteem swerving to the left, hit my bike on the side bar; throwing me to the left before it hit the door of the car in front of me and zoomed away on the road towards Marad.
I was thrown off balance with this sudden turn of events and definitely my handle bar. I fell into a small ditch which was dug up by the corporation for their usual work activities. I had fallen on my sides hitting the side of the ditch with my legs and sliding down into the ditch. The bike sure followed me into the ditch, landing on my right shoulder.
I was soon helped on my feet by the so called pedestrians, who first hauled the bike out first and then me. I carried out a personal on the spot medical check to ensure if I had any broken bone or any serious injury. All seemed well. I slowly walked to my bike which had some broken parts dangling in the front. It was the wind shield which had broken.
I thanked God, that I had scrapped past in the numerous accidents I had, and come out unscathed to see the next day. I just recollected moments ago when I heard about the accident that Soumya’s sister had, where she was knocked off the roads by a drunken driver.
At the end of the day, it was two lives that saw through, but there are countless others who leave behind everything, their family, their friends and depart to heaven. For they might surely be glad, they will not see the hell, the HELL that is called the STREETS.
Sure, the helmet made my day when I fell on the rocky insides of the ditch and came out all in one piece. Today, when I came to office, I found a bull on the way to heaven, glad that it will not again venture out on the MEAN STREETS. Well, that is what the corporation calls “The MAIN STREET”, but for the citizens out here, it will remain “The MEAN STREET”.

Published by Abhilash Gopi

Am a simple guy, loves to see the smiles on my friend's faces. So what are you waiting for? Be my friend, Guys n Gals.

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