Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sakshi: Now the doer,for others to witness! (3)

The present
Sakshi called up the last couple of drivers from their database.  Most of them were already on duty and few not in town. There was no way Sakshi could let that last call/ request go unattended. For her this was not just a business, it was a mission.
The past
That day in court Sakshi had not pressed charges or demanded an enquiry. No it was not because her boyfriend was at fault , it was because the incident prior to the court had made her realise the bigger issue. To Drink and Drive was a crime . But people still did it. Even the ones who were supposedly educated and holding a decent job.
While there were many laws to punish and even reform, no one had a hands –on solution to curb the menance . That day if chachu had been drunk, the kid would not have escaped ,simply because he would not have been in that much control of their vehicle. That realization had never left her.
Karan had run over her father on his way back. He dad had stepped out  to get milk. While rushing back post dropping her, Karan had failed to see the old man at the turn of the road, which was a blindspot even to the sober ones. Yes what Karan could have done is stopped and claimed ownership of the situation. But he chose to run away. Probably he was so drunk that he couldn’t even comprehend as to what was right or wrong. His brain only functioned on its primal instinct and that was his survival . And he had fled the scene in double speed.
The present
Sakshi had ran out of the drivers listed with them.  The ping still needed confirmation . Well she thought to herself, the pub is just a couple of minutes away. She could drive down and take control of the situation. Worst case it could be him. Post that day in court, Sakshi has ended everything between them.  There was no way she could see a life with a person who had ran over her father.  She was now married to just one goal. One mission. To make the society get rid of the greater evil and not just the crime. That was what was her dad would have liked. This was what would keep him at peace wherever he was.
That fact of being a Founder/ CEO to one of the fastest growing  start up companies in India was no mean achievement. She was a regular in youth  leadership summits and entrepreneurship conferences. .And all in just three years . There was definitely a divine hand behind all this and for her it was her dad’s.
She confirmed the ping and stepped out of office locking it. In ten minutes she was outside the pub from where the customer had to be picked up. She replied back on the app and waited.
I know the word sorry doesn’t serve any meaning now but I am genuinely sorry for what happened.
These were Karan’s last words to her before she had fainted out of shock. They kept ringing in her mind as she waited. Of course this happens only in movies. He is not the only Karan in India. And even if it was him, what worse could happen now. She reassured herself thus.
“Hi, am Karan can you please help my wife in” came a voice accompanied by a knock on the window screen. She coudn’t see the face clearly as the window was wet owing to the slight drizzle.  Sakshi opened the back door and the guy placed his wife carefully on the rear seat. She was sloshed. Looked like she had more drinks that the runs scored by the man of the match in that evening’s IPL  final. As the guy closed the back door and got beside her , she saw his face clearly.
“Sakshi! How in the world are you here. Had called a driver service. Don’t get it”. Karan was the first to react. Well movies do mirror life sometimes Sakshi thought.
“I own this service Karan. Life changed post dad’s death and the realization of what led to it. While i was mighty pissed off at you , just  learnt to channelize my anger better. Realised that there is no profile to this set of people who ‘Drink and Drive’.  If there was one word to describe them, then it is Insensitive. And my objective was to just drill some sense into this set. Am glad that you chose to get help tonight and not drink and drive her home. Somewhere that day even i should have done the same.  Maybe you should have suggested. But then, past is past and there is a reason why it is called so. The decision that I made that day got me into this . Today probably it has prevented a second Sakshi from suffering. Well life has come a full circle for me. And you know what this time am in control !”.
The car sprang to life as Sakshi turned on the ignition with these words and kicked off the pedal in first gear. Karan was too jolted to react.Driving on as she looked up the heavens , the voice seemed to come back in her head, but then this time around she had a reply.
Always see the bigger picture beta and may your life find new meaning this coming year.
I have papa,I have!

(The finale…Part 3 of 3)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sakshi: The doer/ witness (2)

The past
It must have been some time post 4pm in the evening, when she woke up in her hall on the sofa. Looked like she had somehow managed to crawl into her home safely. The headache was splitting her head apart. She washed her face and popped a pill to get rid of the headache. Post freshening up ,she went upstairs to her fathers’s room. Shit yaar, he must be upset with me for getting sloshed and  sleeping all day long , was the constant thought plying on her mind, as she opened his door. He was not in his room . She looked in the kitchen and the balcony. He was nowhere to be seen. Must have gone out for his walk.
Well let me call him. As she reached out for her phone, she saw a lot of missed calls. There were a couple of unknown numbers,  her neighbor and her paternal uncle(chachu) were also there in the list. There was also one missed call from Karan. Looks like the entire world was trying to reach her when she was sloshed.  Out of the list, she called her chachu. He was someone who rarely called them . Sensing something could be wrong , she dialed his number first.
The voice at the other end was near hysteric. “Sakshi beta! where in the world have you been, come to Cooper hospital fast, you have no idea how much we tried to reach you” .”What happened chachu. Is chachi alright?” . “It’s not about her, it is about bhaiya. He is in the I.C.U. Someone ran over him today morning”! The words struck her like a thunderbolt and her throat went dry.“ Just come as fast as you can beta.” And the line went dead…
It had been 4 days since her dad was in coma. Sakshi had never seen him so still even in sleep. He was always a bundle of energy. Even post his retirement, he used to involve himself in whatever activity he could and now coudn't even move on his own. Vivid thoughts crossed her mind every now and then.
They say the person gets brain dead in coma. What is the use of such an existence, when one isn’t even aware whether he is alive or dead!. Saddens me to see him in this vegetative state. While I do want my father to recover, if he dosen’t, better it ends here. Can’t see him like this, just can’t!
“They have nabbed the culprit yesterday beta. Is a manager in an MNC.  Such an irresponsible fellow. Don’t know what is happening to today’s youth. Was heavily drunk when he ran over your father. Had he stopped , maybe we could have got your father admitted in the golden hour. Let’s go to the station and demand an enquiry. We need to put him behind bars” said her chachu, literally storming into the ICU.
Rage fuelled in her veins.  This irresponsible fellow had to be taught an unforgettable lesson.  On reaching the police station, they learnt that he had been taken to the court, to be produced before the Judge.“Let’s hurry Chachu, we need to get their before he gets out on bail”. The car zoomed past the busy Mumbai roads . As the car turned around the junction rashly, what her uncle didn’t notice was a young boy playing on the street near what was supposedly his home. The kid was too engrossed playing with the cricket ball that he had not realized where he had strayed.  Screech!! The car came to an abrubt halt, the seat belts prevented both of them from banging onto the glass, but Sakshi hurt her head against the car,jolted by the sudden break.  The kid fell down screaming and Sakshi very nearly thought he had come under. Her uncle on sensing the situation had maneuvered the car a bit away from the child before applying the breaks and that sudden presence of mind / reflex action prevented what could have easily been another fatal road accident. The car had brushed past the kid instead of running him down .  The child was in pain, his parents came rushing out.  A crowd gathered.
The mood was very tense. A small word here or there had the potential for a complete violent outbreak against the driver,in this case her uncle. What was surprising was the word that came from the child’s mother.” Maaf karo memsaab , mera dhyan nahi tha. Road koi khelne ki cheez thodi hai. Yeh kab footpath ke bahar nikal gaya pata hi nahi chala”. Sakshi looked at the women amazed. We had nearly killed her son. Instead of reprimanding and demanding money for treatment, here was this women who had acknowledged the root cause of the issue . And even showed the courage to say it. “ Your fault or not, even we are equally to blame . Your child might have strayed in your absence but we had no right to break the speed barrier, however urgent may be the need. The road after all belongs to you as much as to me. Sakshi replied (in Hindi) . “Chachu let’s drop them to the nearby dispensary on the way to the court”. “But beta, we may get late”. “It's ok Chachu, this woman exactly did what dad always said/believed. See the bigger picture in life and you will always become aware of what needs to be addressed/corrected in the long term”.
The court premises were chaotic . There were people everywhere admist a sea of black coats. “Let me check which room he is being produced beta, you wait here” said Chachu. As Sakshi waited, a hand tapped her shoulder”. “Karan! Oh my God, am so happy to see you.  You have no clue what has transpired ever since that New year night. My world has turned upside down”. Tears welled up her eyes as her voice started to choke. “Dad is in coma post a road accident and the person who did this to him is somewhere here seeking bail” .
“Am that person Sakshi” . Karan replied . And Sakshi’s world suddenly blanked out…
  ( to be continued, part 2 of 3)...