RIDING TO DEATH
The recent spate of deaths of young bikers should make us introspect
SAMEER RASHID BHAT
It was a dark gloomy Tuesday morning. The sun had just popped out to spread its warm rays all around. We were queuing up for the morning assembly and subsequent prayers in the lawn of our school. The lawn was abuzz with the muttering and murmuring of the uniformly dressed 'future of society'. A friend came rushing up to me with his face very down. Something bad had happened. I presumed the expression on his face to be the usual one that creeps in onto our faces when we see all the teachers have come to the school. We always keep a count of the teachers so as to see how much free time we would get for the day to roam about and play around. It didn't turn up to be as I presumed. Something worse had happened.
'Iqbal is no more', my friend mustered all his courage to voice these unfortunate words, “We've lost him forever”. These words sent shivers down my spine and I was rendered petrified. I tried to ask him the reason of the loss of an innocently beautiful flower in the garden of life of which we all form a part. No, I couldn't utter a speck of a word. I looked up towards the heavens and closed my eyes. Iqbal and many a fond memories of him flashed back before my eyes in a dramatic succession. Iqbal was our classmate last year and a dear friend. He had left the school owing to some personal reasons this session only.
During the whole of the Morning assembly, my eyes wandered from one corner to another, begging and pleading someone to let me know the cause of the untimely loss. The sad news had by now reached every ear in the lawn. “Iqbal died due to an accident. It's on today's newspaper”, I heard some boys talk. I rushed to the school library and hastily lay my hands on a daily. “Two boys killed in a bike accident”, read the headline. I quickly skimmed through the details of the news item, hoping against the hope. How I wished the news to be untrue! But alas! Wishes don't see the dawn of fulfillment so often.
The details of the news story took me to a broader aspect of what caused Iqbal's death. Iqbal and another biker died of an accident on the Boulevard Road around the Dal Lake. They were moving speedily when they crashed into each other. Blood spilled all around as if competing with the silent waters of the Dal and hence bringing about a tragic end to yet two more lives.
Bike accidents are a dime a dozen nowadays. Every now and then dailies are stained and smeared with unfortunate and distressing reports about the bike accidents. The section of our society (that's worst hit) is the youth including minors (below 18) who drive without driving license. Their bodies gush with adrenaline rush which prompts them to make their two-wheeler do the talking. Pass around a dekko and you'll see these vernal motorcyclists attempting deadly, real-life stunts on narrow jam-packed roads which otherwise require a proper track, professional skills and due supervision. The fast-flying bikers zoom past like lightening, zigzagging their ways through, thereof injecting a sense of fear and disgust in the other drivers and pedestrians. Sometimes they fly close with hands stretched to grope whoever comes in between. They come like gusts of wind with loud honking leaving the onlookers perplexed. All these showy and splashy acts, by and large, cease in a tragic-ending leaving behind tearful tales of many Iqbals and lessons to be learnt.
The need of the hour is to ponder over and act against such activities by the bikers. What is primarily required is a mass awareness among the youth so as to awaken their conscience and senses. Proper counseling and guidance needs to be imparted to the youth-on-bikes. Parents, schools, colleges and other social organizations have a pivotal role to play in this regard. Moreover, the concerned authorities should make it a point that laws aren't confined to the rule books alone but let see the light of realization. To curb a menace like this one, we all have to get together and make sure no other life is lost and no other Iqbal sees a lamentable end.
Rest in peace, Iqbal
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 15 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 16 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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