Drinking and driving makes it even shorter
Last night I received news that my friend Vikram, whom I had known since 1994 and who stays in the same street as me, had lost his life yesterday morning at 2 am in
Bangalore Chennai, due to drunk driving. I do not know the details of the accident and don’t wish to know, but my friend informed that Vikram and the other guy had instantly died on the spot, and the bodies were unrecognizable apparently. I am still shuddering at the thought of having to meet his parents this weekend, and hope they have the strength to bear the sudden loss. Update: They had collided with a concrete mixer lorry (courtesy: The Hindu).
This is the second time I have lost a friend to this bane, and I am certain there are so many more related deaths. But why the hell doesn’t anyone learn from others’ mistakes? I can only empathize with the traffic police’s attempts to create awareness of safety on the road, but despite all their best efforts to inculcate some sense into the empty minds of the modern youth, no one learns the lesson yet. The point is, we have no control over our life and can die any time, but why do you want to ditch the world even sooner and change your destiny?
On hearing the news, I was thinking out aloud “Why again?” My college classmate, Pravin, was riding with his friend, both drunk to the core. His friend rode the bike at neck break speed even within electronic city. Even as they came to the U-turn which connects Gate 3 and Gate 4, his friend did not slow down the bike at all. As a consequence, the bike skidded off the road and both the riders were thrown off. The friend was lucky and escaped with a hand fracture, but Pravin was not so fortunate. His head bumped against a rock and his skull was fractured in the process. He also suffered internal injuries in the torso. But what made the whole thing even worse was that he relapsed into a coma, and the doctors were not sure if he would wake up, but suggested keeping him under observation. For three months, his parents stayed in the hospital, not even once stepping out of the hospital grounds. But at the end, his brain activities started decreasing, and the doctors did not have much hope for reviving him. I went to the hospital and remained with his parents for the last 5 days of his life. In the end, his parents understood that he was gone forever, and they consented to switch off the ventilator. It was a very traumatic experience for all of us, considering how much of pain his parents had undergone these 3 months. This memory can never be erased in the years to come.
Yesterday night, my friend Amith, who also lived in the same street, conveyed the sad news to me. I was shell shocked as to how a nice guy like Vikram could suffer such a cruel fate, but in the end, he was no different from Pravin. It was almost a repeat of Pravin’s accident, but only that Vikram was mercifully killed on the spot. Amith did not know the full details, but confirmed that his friend was barely unrecognizable in the wreck. *I can’t believe i have to type this!* My parents might be knowing the full details, since Vikram’s mom is our family friend. I feel totally sorry and helpless for his family, and can only pray for their peace of mind. I had known Vikram for close to 15 years and used to hang out with him in school days, and play cricket on our street every evening. Now, I don’t have a chance to say a hi to him and ask him how life is going on. He is in very good hands now, and I hope he will watch over his parents from there. What makes this incident even worse is that Vikram is the only son of his parents, while Pravin is survived by his younger sister. I now realize how much I love my parents and don’t want to displease them at any cost.
Picture courtesy: Rindo (colleague). This picture gives me an eerie feeling, and I can imagine Vikram being like this.
Now comes the big question – WHY DID THEY DO IT? I have known Vikram for long, and in the last 2 years of college I became close to Pravin, and he used to drop me home after classes. In both cases, they were thoroughly dissatisfied with what they had and always fantasised having better things without working for them. Vikram was a bit dyslexic and did not excel in studies, but he had a very good nature and always sought to make friends with everyone, not to mention he was good at cricket. His parents did not approve of his behavior,and I remember they always used to tell me “Give him tips on how to study better”. They did not pay much attention to what he really wanted, and was concerned only with his academic performance. This could have impacted him and made him lose his faith in them, and subsequently he resorted to boozing, the most common way to get over sorrows and what not. In Pravin’s stance, he was literally a casanova, but could never manage to get a girlfriend. To exacerbate the misery, my classmates ruined him and introduced him to the world of addiction, and soon he became a total wreck. Whenever I spoke to him alone, I could sense his lack of concern for his life and his family. His mother always pampered him and yet he never reciprocated her love and pain, and she had to go through hell for this.
I had intended to blog about Pravin’s death in July last year, but did not wish to make things gloomy in InfyBlogs. Now Vikram’s death leaves me no choice but to write about the two friends, whom I lost to the influence of alcohol. The most pitiable thing about these, is that no one still gets the message about how precious our life is, and they resume their bad habits (case in point – my classmates during the kodai trip). I am certain there are many infoscions who drink a lot and sometimes drive on the way home from the bar. If you are one of them, for god’s sake stop acting like a total dumbass and give some respect for your life and your parents. Your parents took pains to make your life comfortable; do you intend to repay them by losing your life, and shattering their hopes, consequently making them feel their lives are worthless?!
I can’t stop people from smoking and drinking, but I intend to make sure they don’t lose their minds. Even if only one person gets the message, it will be a major victory for me. Folks, please do your bit too; make your friends understand the importance of putting their life and others’ lives at risk if they try this. You can’t prevent your friends from getting drunk, but at least ensure that they walk back home, or find a teetotaller friend, who would be willing to drop them home. I swear that if anyone dismisses my sincere request, I am going to kick their butt to high heaven and give them a much needed dosage of common sense. I simply can’t afford to brood about more losses!
So the message is loud and clear: If they say you must not drink and drive, they are clearly telling you to give an iota of respect for your life and not to endanger other people’s lives because of the need to drown yourself in alcohol. I am certain many people will continue to ignore these warnings and contribute to the increasing death rate, but there’s always a glimmer of hope that some people have the sense to imbibe the meaning of this warning.
Life moves on. But learn from others’ mistakes too!
Cross posted from internal blog
Edit: If you can’t quit drinking, atleast ensure you don’t drive when u have drinking plans!