We were deciding which restaurant to go and there was a sound of vehicle fall from the road. We turned in the direction where the sound came from to see a bike having hit a man. The man hit by the bike was bleeding and was in a state of half consciousness. Shrisha and I ran to the spot of accident.
The man who was hit by the bike was not moving. Blood was flowing on the road. His white shirt, white lungi were all soiled. Within no time there were many people in the spot. All of us were just watching. An auto rickshaw passed next to us who accelerated his speed once he saw that the crowd were asking him to stop so that the man injured could be taken to the hospital. None of us were ready to lift the man injured. Finally a young man went ahead and lifted one arm of the man but couldn’t manage to lift him entirely. “Someone please help,” said the young man and a middle-aged man came with a bottle of water and splashed it on the face of the man injured but did not touch the man. The splash of water made the man scream once. “Somebody lift him from the other side, the emergency ward is close by we will carry him.” Somebody lifted the man by his another arm. “I will go get a wheel chair at the door gate of the hospital. You get him there,” said another man and ran towards the hospital, when the men holding the injured asked for more hands to lift the injured. Two men later joined the two holding the injured and the four of them took the injured to the hospital, while many followed them to the hospital. The man who had gone to get the wheel chair to the gate was present with a stretcher and the wounded was put on the stretcher. The hospital ward boys took the injured in. The men carrying the injured walked back, like the many others who followed them, as the inured was taken in.
Shrisha and I were walking back to the place where we had kept our vehicle and we overheard a few people say, “the man who was driving the bike escaped.” Soon another pain pointed out a bike moving away, in the direction of the hospital, and said, “Look its the man on the bike.” Shrisha and I finally decided on which restaurant to go and started moving in that direction. We had to cross the hospital entrance and while crossing that area we saw a huge crowd dragging a man to the hospital. The faces looked familiar. The same faces which followed the men carrying the injured. They had managed to stop the bike rider who was escaping and had brought him to the hospital. Shrisha and i did not stop. We went our way.
Sitting at dollops (a restaurant) we thought, “Nobody went forward to help the injured, but there were so many to catch the man who was driving the bike and drag him to the hospital.”
It is not that we are all insensitive for not to go lift the injured. It is just that we all fear. It is not the fear of legalities involved later on, but the fear of death. If the injured is still speaking, indicating his being alive, we all go help him/her out. But if the injured is not moving we ask ourselves, “if he/she still alive” and this stops us from moving ahead and helping the injured. It is the fear of death which stops us, it appears to me.
We all romanticize death. Be it the death of freedom fighters, revolutionaries etcetera, we all tend to romanticize death. But when death stands before us we all fear, even when it is laying its cold hands not on us but someone else. It is an irony that we all fear death even when we romanticize it so much. It is also an irony that one of the four who lifted the injured and took him to th hospital also romanticizes death in another way. The man demands for euthanasia and the same man feared death of the injured and rushed the injured to the hospital.
The more i think
the less i understand
to fear death so much.
– Abbas Kiarostami
(Walking With The Wind)