February 15, 2007

He fell, he's OK, sorry

My friend Amin, whom I wrote about here and whose Sneha Travels I link to via "Amin for your travel needs" in the right sidebar, had an unusual Valentine's Day. (Most of this account paraphrased from a phone call and a message I got).

He was driving home on his motorbike on the highway, passing through Andheri. A woman had stopped her car on the highway. She chose to open her door just as he was passing. It hit him hard on his thigh, and the impact flung him onto the road divider, where he also hurt his chest and hand badly.

Amin took a passing rickshaw and went to Holy Family Hospital. When he reached there, his breathing was shallow and his heartbeat irregular, in addition to his wounds. For those reasons, they put him in the ICU to observe him for a day. XRays revealed no broken bones and by the end of the day he was feeling better except for the wounds.

This morning the hospital discharged Amin. He went to the police station, where he got a call about a talk he was supposed to give at a meeting of a local social service organization. He went there still bandaged and in his hospital clothes, gave the talk and then returned home.

He's at home, recovering. And all of us who know him are breathing a little easier.

Oh yes. What about the woman, you want to know? After Amin fell, she said sorry and drove away.


Samir said...

I've heard many many stories of this type over the years and each one of them is true. Here's one that I read recently. Are we Indians really mean, horrible people utterly lacking in humanity or is there something else going on here?

~ said...

At least the woman said sorry. I have seen people absconding from "their" crime scene just like that. Came to ur blog from Kala Ghoda Gazette. Please pay a visit to my blog when u have time. I have some postings on Kalaghoda fest, Mumbai fest & Banganga fest. Waiting for Elephanta ;)

Vivek Kumar said...

@samir: I don't think that there is any particular need to speculate about the possibility of "we Indians" being "really mean, horrible people utterly lacking in humanity".

While regrettable, such incidents happen all over the world.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Vivek, what you said. Had a conversation with a US friend two weeks ago, over a similar incident I was once part of. He told me the story of an accident he was in in New Hampshire, in which fuel got spilled on the highway all around him and his car. Thus serious danger of fire. None of several passing motorists bothered to call the fire department despite assuring him they would do so.

Anonymous said...

Why are some people so eager to jump to broad generalisations like Samir did?

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is a generalization, rather quite true. In India, people are wary of the police and the mess that they are going to get into. On the whole, people in western countries are more likely to help others out in an accident than in India because they know that they will be treated fairly, even if they caused an accident.

I *never* hear of people driving away from accident sites in the West, even when they have caused an accident. It is an exception rather than the rule, while in India, it is the opposite. The fact that it happens, is neither here or there, but acceptance of this fact doesn't mean that Indians are mean horrible people. They are just wary of the system.

Anonymous said...

If your friend (Amin) could take down the number of the car and report it to the police while being confident that law enforcement would take it seriously, I don't think the woman would've just apologized and left. At some level, level and seriousness of law enforcement aka threat of penalties, criminal negligence, tying it to insurance premium increases are a good deterrent and encourage some level of concern even if it is only self-serving.

Ramiah Ariya said...

Good point, anonymous. I agree - I would not call Samir's comment a generalization. The fact is people CAN and DO drive off from accident scenes and they DO cause accidents out of sheer stupidity or malice. I have been taking public and private transportation in Chennai the last 2 years and I have noticed that people believe rash driving is the right way to get anywhere. From high powered lights to loud horns, people make every effort to weaponize their vehicles.

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