Thursday, December 18, 2008

Melancholy in my heart

There are few things in life that strike as hard as a loss of a friend. When two people you know, liked and studied with, leave you so suddenly, you can only ask yourself,"Why?". But then, as the shock that numbs you slowly evaporates, the pain only becomes more clear and acute. You stop wondering why they left you, and start thinking about the memories you had of them, the pain caused to their families, and their dreams that all seem so futile. You start thinking in "If only" terms, and feel pangs of guilt which tell you that in some remote way, you could have stopped it from happening. The guilt stems from the fact that there are no people to apportion blame on, no answers to all your scathing questions. And even if there were answers, what difference will they make? What happened is not going to change, and it is a fact that you will have to come to terms with. You can only pray that their families will find the solace that only time can provide.

Over the years, I have lost four people whom I'd known really well, who were peers, to road accidents. And knowing that the very arteries of our nation are turning into pits of doom is scaring the wits out of me. The worst part of it is that there is no point in just blaming the state of the roads. Many fatalities seem to happen on the highways, and most cases are not a direct result of the condition of the road, but a result of combination of causes, ranging from lack of proper lighting to drivers themselves not being cautious. It is said that road accidents cost 2-3% of the GDP of our country each year. But if only half a percent was spent on the roads, the lighting and the education of drivers, this situation might improve. It is disconcerting to note that more people die in road accidents than because of terrorism. In such a situation, it is imperative that we take actions immediately. Blaming the government is not enough. It is upto drivers to be sensible. 

I hope that this is the last loss I will have to face because of accidents. No words can describe the sorrow that fills the air in our campus, nor the indelible impressions that the events have left on all of us. To Sumantra Saha and Rajrup Sarkar, may your souls rest in peace. And remember that you will live in our hearts and thoughts forever.