If you had been among the few thousands of commuters in Bangalore's Outer ring road this morning, you'll already be able to relate to what I mean.
The bus that I was commuting in, stopped somewhere on the ring road. With a lovely song playing on my Ipod, I failed to realize that this stop was more of a halt. Then, there came a bright green T-shirt whose expressions made me realize that it was a heavy traffic jam. I did not know of policemen dressed in casuals especially when they regulated traffic. A close look indicated a corporate identity card. With the intention of directing the traffic, this software engineer had taken up the traffic policeman role temporarily. Felt good that there was a sensible engineer in town.
Then, I noticed that the traffic was too heavy and my office building seemed closer to where my bus waited in the traffic. So, I stepped out and started walking on the right lane of the road. There were practically no vehicles on that side. When I saw a police van I was 90% sure that it was an accident that caused the whole traffic jam, but hoped silently that the scene was not all that serious. Finally, I reached office after a twenty minute walk. I did not wait.
The office's gossip waves confirmed that two young guys were hit by a brake-failed truck in a head-on collision and were declared dead on the spot. Suddenly, the feeling inside was and is still difficult to bear. Just like most of us, these people would have started to office this morning and the next thing their people know is they are no more.
When I went upstairs to the cafe with a friend for coffee soon after, I saw that the office's caterers have sent a word that the breakfast will be delayed. Most people were there for breakfast but munched away sandwiches and had some coffee over the NDTV flash news. They did not wait. The NDTV news channel was reeling off so much of news cast from all over the world. Nothing stopped in the world. Its amazing how much of variety happens in the world at any given time. Time does not stop and same with happenings, every moment.
Bangalore residents probably know that the outer ring road is corporate home to at least five software complexes, each housing a number of software companies. From the glass wall, we could see the complete line of traffic deadlocked till as far as we could see, on both sides. [ From Marathahalli to Kadubaisanahalli junction, and from Kadubaisanahalli junction to Bellandur on the other side. ] There were vehicles trying to explore work-around routes to reach their offices. There were people who walked their way to office, like I did. No one waited.
The talk of the morning was all about the traffic and the accident. Back at my desk, I said hello to someone, picked up an irritating phone call, booked a conference room for a meeting I have tomorrow, spoke to my folks at home, teased a friend about something.... Nothing stopped because of the accident and the loss of two precious lives.
The police van came and went, the ambulance probably came and went too... people who had seen the accident felt very deeply for it, people who heard about it felt bad for it, someone probably is blogging about it, just like me, or preparing a news clipping for this afternoon's news paper, but then that is all happens. Nothing more, Nothing less.
This could sound philosophical, but I must say it here.. Nothing stops, halts or waits in the world, because everything is driven by the fast ticking time. All you can probably do is Stop, Halt and Wait as and when needed to value life for what it is - treasure yourself and your loved ones, enjoy beauty, appreciate intellect, applaud something well done, return a smile, work as much as you need to, dream as much as you can, embrace love as long as you live, and thank God each day, for the very idea that you have lived through the day - to be able to wade through all the highs and lows.
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