A bomb blast in Boston sent my time line on Twitter into frenzied activity. The media fell over itself and the world leaders rose together to condemn the outrage. I am with the outrage, this was not on. But I am also with the other incidents which passed by as a statistic in some death register. Bomb blasts, mob violence, traffic murders like the one in Jaipur and many more did not evoke much reaction. It is difficult to understand why an American and now a Chinese life is worth more than that of others.
These days it is quite common to see many angels on mercy speeding on the road with the lights flashing and the siren blaring. I am talking about the brave heart ambulance drivers who put their lives at risk to reach patients to the hospitals at the earliest. They are indeed angels of mercy and nowadays it is heartening to see that the average citizen is letting the ambulances pass on and unwittingly may have saved lives. If only someone had called an ambulance on the highway in Jaipur maybe two lives could have been saved.
Traffic deaths are rising and many deaths can be avoided by simple discipline. Yet discipline on the roads is disappearing faster than the footpaths and together they keep adding to the fatalities. It will be impossible to police this city considering its sprawl and its growth but function traffic lights can help. Often these lights stop functioning and it becomes a free for all. Compounding this is the failure of the law enforcers to follow the law. Last night a police jeep seeing the jam ahead decided to drive on the wrong side. This opened the dam literally with many others following the jeep ensuring that both lanes were blocked.
Patience is a virtue and our roads can teach us that if only we cared to learn. To reach on time in this traffic madness it is obvious that one has to leave early. Failing to do that leads to laws being flouted, tempers getting raised and the inevitable treatment for pressure one fine day. All it needs is some proactive planning and some relaxed driving for the time gained in breaking a few rules on the road will be insignificant compared to the time that can be wasted in the event of an accident. People can listen to the radio, pray or even create blog posts in their mind while patiently waiting for the traffic to clear. And if the time spent on the road is longer then maybe another song can be heard or a prayer said or a post composed.
Yesterday’s paper tells folks in Chennai that soon you can be driving on the road for more than two hours and still be in Chennai. It may not be news for those who are doing the commute already on the OMR but for those who bought property years ago falling for the pitch “near Chennai” will have a smile and feel extremely lucky as they will find themselves to be a part of Chennai metro even if their address will read Arakonnam or Kanchipuram. The question on my mind is will these new areas of Chennai be spared the 12 hour power cuts that are prevalent in the rest of the state.
There was a debate on radio recently the objective was to find out whether success comes from hard work or luck. There was a strong pitch for both options and one or two wise souls took the middle path attributing both to success. I personally believe that smart workers make their own luck, providence is their bonus. Let me explain with the earlier example, to reach a destination on time taking a route with bumper to bumper traffic one needs to be extremely lucky if he leaves at his usual time, however a smart worker will leave early (it is hard work, trust me) plan his route and he will ensured that he has made his own luck to reach his destination with possibly time to spare.
Protection is achieved by planning & proactive behaviour. Wearing a helmet or a seat belt are examples of protection. Sadly people do not bother with either another thing they ignore is insurance both for life and for non life including health. Recently one cover that I reluctantly took helped me when I least expected it. It was a protection plan for my credit / debit cards and when my cell phone & my wallet were stolen it just took one phone call to block all my cards including my SIM. Unfortunately I did not mark my IMEI number and so the phone could not be traced but still it ensured peace of mind. I suggest folks look up such plans and go for them, because by the time we need them it may be too late.