On a dangerous route

On a dangerous route

Common practice

On a dangerous route

Sometimes we take pride in being called ‘last-minuters’ — there’s a last-minute rush to study before a test, a last-minute shopping spree before a vacation and the inevitable last-minute panic when we are late for office. But while these can make for some funny memories, things can take a not-so-pleasant turn if you try to take this hurry onto the roads. Often, this leads to the practice of boarding moving vehicles in an effort to compensate for being late.

This unsafe action is mainly overlooked or unchecked because of the many more dangerous stunts we see on our roads. And also because most of the times we do manage to catch and hang onto that bus or train due to the inherited characteristics from our primate ancestors. However, if that grip slackens or you miss that step, it could be a disaster in the making.

Rahul S recounts his harrowing tale. “Once I was trying to catch a bus to my office in Whitefield. All the buses that were coming my way were incredibly crowded and I let a few go, even though I was getting late for work. The next bus that came did not stop but just slowed down slightly. I was desperate enough to run behind the vehicle and attempt to jump onto the foot board. But I lost my grip and fell down. It was only by a stroke of luck that I fell a little distance away from the bus and the car coming behind me was slow enough to get time to brake. That stunt cost me a sprained ankle, quite a number of stitches and some amount of money. I have never tried anything like that again,” he says.

“I was trying to make it to my office on time one day,” recounts Arun, a professional. “Just as I entered the metro station, I heard the train pulling in. I ran to catch the train but slipped and fell. I was not hurt very badly but I did get a bit bruised and ended up being really late for office. I made it a point to leave early after that to avoid having to repeat such stunts.”

It is not just the fear of being late that makes people go for such rash manoeuvres. In an effort to look cool or hip, youngsters try daredevil acts and often end up hurting themselves or others around them. “Many college students try to jump on to running vehicles or try to get off from a bus when it is still moving,” says Pallavi, a dentist. “Once I saw a boy getting off a bus while it was just slowing down at a signal. Unfortunately, he did not look properly and collided with a biker coming behind him. They both fell down and there was a huge altercation which ultimately led to a traffic jam for some time, thus causing everyone to suffer.”

With a little bit of time-management (and some concern for oneself as well as others), one can easily avoid such unfortunate incidents. Time is precious indeed and no one likes to be late but there are far more precious things in life. As is evident from the moving tale that Stephin Joel narrates. “This happened to a family I knew very well. The man, his wife and their children went to the railway station to see off his mother-in-law. There was very little time before the train took off so the man got onto the train to help the lady with her bags. By that time the train started. When he tried to get off, he slipped and fell into the gap, in front of his family. He did not survive and it was a terrible shock to all of us.”

It is very easy to forget how precious it is to be alive. Remember that the next time you try to jump onto that footboard.

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