I am Maya. I am a 22-year-old working woman. The commute to my office and back home is pretty long. My house is quite far from the bus stop too. So my father usually comes to pick me up at the bus stop. One day, I was on my way back home at around 7.30 p.m. as usual. That day, my uncle had come to pick me up because my parents had to go out.
My uncle and I had to take a different route to reach home because some political meeting was taking place on the street. This road too was blocked because a lady had met with an accident a few minutes back.
We saw a lady lying on the road near a bike.
A few guys were standing beside her. The lady was in acute pain.
Her saree was all bunched up around her thighs. She was not aware that her thighs were exposed. When I saw this, I felt bad for her. I got down from our bike and went to help her. I arranged her saree around her properly and tried to make her sit.
It was then that I realized that the lady had ended up with a broken leg. I could actually see the two broken pieces of her leg. Even her bones were visible. The two pieces of her leg were held together only with a bare piece of flesh. I panicked and started shivering. I almost fainted. I did not have the mental strength to cope with incidents like these.
But I somehow managed to do what was most important at that time. I held the lady with one hand and called my uncle.
I screamed to all the people around me and asked them to call an ambulance. But no one responded. I was really pi**ed off by this and decided to call the ambulance myself.
But I was new to this area and I knew I would not be able to guide the ambulance to the exact location. So I gave my phone to a boy standing beside me and asked him to help us. He did help us. My uncle had managed to park our bike in a nearby place. As soon as he came to us, we carefully and quickly carried the lady with the help of a few other men and made her rest on the pavement. The traffic started moving freely now. I knew that by the time the ambulance came - there would be no traffic on the road. I then went and stood beside the guy who was speaking to the ambulance driver.
My phone was with him so I was standing beside the boy till he finished giving the instructions to the ambulance driver.
The boy returned the phone back to me. He then asked me not to leave the place because the ambulance driver would call my number in case he had a problem in reaching the site of the accident. So I stayed there with the lady. I then noticed that the guy himself was injured too.
I wondered if he was responsible for the accident.
But I was distracted when I got a call from an unknown number. I realized that it must be the ambulance driver who was calling to find out the details of our location. So I had to hand over my phone to another guy now because I could not find the guy who had helped me out earlier!
But I did not bother too much about his whereabouts anyway. The second guy spoke to the driver and gave the phone back to me.
It was then that a man from nowhere came to us and started shouting at me. He said, “Where is the guy who was standing beside you? I saw you talking to him. You were with him. I know that. Now tell me where that boy is - else you will be in trouble. Don’t try to save your boyfriend!”
I was shocked. He had used the word “boyfriend!” I said, “Are you nuts? I don’t even know who that boy was!”
The man said, “Oh! Come on now. I know you were with him. I saw you both on the bike together. What are you trying to do? Do you think you can save him? I will not let you go anywhere until the boy comes here. All you lovers are like this. I will not let you go just like that. I am the secretary of this area and if anything happens to the lady you are going to be in great trouble.” The man had started shouting now.
I was fuming now and said, “Where is your humanity? You have the guts to yell at a person who is volunteering to help an accident victim? I don’t even know who that guy was. What do you expect me to do now? Just stop all your bloody nonsense or I will beat you up with my slipper now.”
What else could I do? I was already very scared about all that was happening around me. I was finding it difficult to see the condition of the lady's leg. Fortunately, my uncle came to my rescue just as the secretary was trying to hold me by my arms.
He pushed the man away and said, “She is my daughter. She came with me on my bike here. Don’t you dare touch her or I will….”
In the meantime, the second boy who had spoken to the ambulance driver on my phone came over and said, "Seriously – have you people forgotten a virtue like humanity? All she wanted to do was to do something for the lady.”
“No one else even dared to help her. And you are accusing her of the accident? God damn it – don't thank her. At least leave her alone!"
The secretary said, “Leave her alone? I will show you who I am. This girl is not going anywhere until the boy comes.” He then turned to me and said, “You call him, girl or I will start hitting you - very hard.” I could not control myself now. I said, “Are you really trying to help us? Or are you creating a scene because you are a secretary? You saw me with that guy. You saw me talking to him and standing beside him. That means you have been here for a long time now.”
“Then why didn’t you come over and help this lady earlier?”
By now a big crowd had gathered around us and everyone was staring at me. It was as if I was the reason behind the accident. This man was using the situation to link me to that boy – and I had been with him for just a couple of minutes.
I felt helpless. Only my uncle and that second boy supported me. No one came forward to tell the man that I was innocent. Almost all the bystanders knew that I was innocent. But they chose to keep quiet.
The political meeting was going on normally on the other road. Not even a single person from there had come over to help us here. I felt very weak now. I just wanted to drink some water. I turned around to see a man standing near the gate of his house.
I went to him and asked him for some water. The man turned around without saying a single word, went inside his house, shut the door and never turned up again.
Finally, the ambulance came and took the lady to a nearby hospital. My uncle took me home. The minute I reached home, I freshened up and went to bed. I couldn’t sleep at night that day. Though I was out of that place, I couldn’t bring myself out of that entire incident mentally.
The entire experience was replaying itself in my head. The leg of that lady, the way the secretary had behaved, the way the crowd had looked at me, the attitude of the people who did not even bother to help the lady or me. And to top it all - how there was no one to give me even a glass of water at that time.
The next day, I got a call when I was working saying that the secretary had filed a complaint against me. He had given my uncle’s bike’s registration number. The police came home to investigate and I had to answer their questions for 45 minutes. I had all the necessary proof and did my best to prove that I was innocent. The police seemed to trust me. But they said that they might have to come again in case they needed my help in identifying that boy. Apparently, that boy was responsible for the accident and he was absconding right now.
I was finally out of the entire ordeal after three days when the lady gave her statement in the hospital. The real story ended there.
But does the story actually end with this? It was my birthday the next day. I had been hoping for a new beginning in my life. Was this the new beginning that I had been waiting for? I don’t want you to sympathize with me. I just want you to think about the incident.
Is this why we hesitate to help someone even if we really want to help them out? Does this happen because of a few a**hol*s who start reacting and act without using their brains?
Why are we so keen on creating problems for others instead of helping others?
If a boy and a girl stand together – does it mean they are lovers? Why do we assume that if a youngster is talking over the phone – he/she is talking to his/her girlfriend/boyfriend? Why do others assume that we are waiting for our lovers when they see us waiting for someone? I don’t really know what is happening to us. But I do know that it is not enough if we are successful and make a lot of money in our lives.
There are many things which are more important than money and success.
I would like to end my story with these lines written by Chetan Bhagat:
Think of the ‘lemon and spoon’ game. There is no point in coming first in the race if the lemon falls off from the spoon.
This will always be the mantra of my life.