Monday, November 3, 2014

Is it worth it?

Is it worth it?

On Saturday, November 1, 2014, I had an experience. One which is not unique to me but I am sure will resonate with many who read this. The thoughts that followed seemed to have rustled me up and prompted me to write this note. 

It was a busy Saturday afternoon and I was on the road running from here to there completing one chore to another. Every minute was calculated. I was in a rush to reach home as my niece and nephew were visiting us. Standing on a red signal waiting for the signal to turn green, I was listening to music loud to keep away the noise from the road.  Suddenly I heard the cars behind me honk loudly and before I realized the truck standing next to my car was almost over me, at least so it seemed…  In a reflex action I pressed the horn of my car with all my force. My heart was beating fast and I thought if he doesn’t stop now, I am gone. Since the truck was not in a momentum it stopped almost immediately as it hit me. The huge tire of his truck was almost inside my door… and at that moment all I could think of was oh no… Oh God now what? I rolled the window, untangled the side view mirror and tried to sway the car to left to get out of the grip of that huge monster. The cars behind me and some people on the road were all shouting and even though for a minute I did manage to have everyone’s attention. As luck would have it my car started and I was able to move away from the truck and instead of stopping and talking to him, I decided to just move on.
The cars behind me were relieved no end. I am sure they must have thought, “ab jhagdha hoga, traffic jam hoga uff”

 I did stop to catch my breath and to see who was behind the wheels of this huge truck; It was a private crane service. The helper and driver both looked stoned. The helper from his side looked at me and his face clearly showed that he was happy I am not stopping to fight with him.

I reached where I had to and narrated the incident and showed the damage to my car, immediate reaction was why didn’t I stop the truck and asked him to pay for the damages? I said, “kaun jhagda kare beech sadak pe, usne jaan boojh ke to kiya nahi, ye sab to kisi se bhi ho sakta hai”  No they were not convinced. I was made to look like I just left the guy when I shouldn’t have and hence too na├»ve…

The whole episode scared me a bit due to the suddenness of the event and the size of the truck but left me with questions.

Why are we so unforgiving?
Why are we so impatient and selfish?

Anyone can make mistakes. Yes there are people who drive rashly and cause harm to fellow travelers but I feel mostly an accident or a brush like this is just a basic miss. A delayed reflex action or just a situation. Whatever be the case is it so big that we cannot forgive?

Now imagine what would the alternate scenario to this situation be like? I take out the car from the situation, block the truck and get to driver’s side and give him choicest abuses, ask onlookers to pull him down, some may even thrash him and I ask him for money for the damages. There would be a swamp of onlookers standing by and some just giving expert advice. All this would result in a road jam, honking and chaos on the road. Is it worth it all?

I know I will have to get my car repaired and spend a whole lot of money. I am not rich to be able to afford all this. But I still feel that all the fight and rage was not worth it. The drivers would have called their owners, and there would be police and negotiations and if the owner did give some compensation the same would definitely be adjusted with the salary of the drivers. It’s not that I haven’t been on the other side. I clearly remember two incidences when for no fault of mine a bully person harassed me no end and really extorted money out of me. I remember the humiliation and helplessness that I felt that day.

Each day the news paper is full of road rage stories. Every time you are out on the road you will see a case of people fighting in the middle of the road over such incidents. My questions are to all those people who have been involved in road scuffles and to those who drive in big clustered cities and face this threat each day?

Is it really worth it?
Can the vehicle be more valuable than human life and peace of mind?  
Was I really a loser or was I just too scared to tackle the big truck driver or scared of the chaos that would follow or the hurry of wanting to reach home? 

The questions are never ending… and each one of us will have a different answer and or a different take on this subject.

Whatever be the answer, personally, I feel that we all need to slow down a bit, pause, think, take a deep breath and just ask is it so difficult to forgive?

Is it so important to show down the person who is physically or economically weaker than us?
Is all this worth it?

Have we all never made mistakes? Is it not possible that we damage someone’s vehicle by mistake?

9 out of 10 times the answers will be  NO and all we need is that in the heat of the moment just remember this… It’s not worth it…

November 3, 2014

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