I was riding the vehicle to nowhere at 2am on Saturday Night. My thoughts were drifting in every direction as they always do, mostly because there was nothing much to do, but thinking. Thinking about similar midnight rides with college pals, thinking about the latest scar which didn’t bleed, thinking about how she looked the other day. I was swimming in the cold wind and shrugging it off at 40 km/hr.
The road was as empty, black and silent as a dead sea. Suddenly, I saw one bike lying upside down on the roadside. It’s headlight and battery were still on. Expecting the then-obvious, I saw one middle aged man lying flat and unconscious near the bike. I had to stop my wonderful journey towards nowhere there and then. I rushed to the scene and parked my bike sideways.
I felt as if the cold breath and blood in my mortal body was clotted with anxiety, as there was absolutely no one else on that road. I picked his head and dragged his body carefully to the clean footpath. While carefully checking his head and open skin, I found only sweat and no blood: ‘Phew.. No major injury’, I told myself.
He was an unconscious, middle-aged, filthy huge man. His eyes were round, wide open and dark red. I couldn’t make out the reason of them being red if they contained blood or as if he woke up from a deep sleep. He was trying to breath hurriedly from his extra wide nostrils, the sound of it like the winds whistling through rocky shores. I was stunned on the fact that how can one snore after having met with an accident on middle of the road. His chest, as extra wide as his extra wide nostrils, was rising and falling with each breath and rested on his enormous belly.
Another biker stopped near us. He appeared as a tall and well built up guy. He asked nervelessly "Ssup man?" as if he had played this part a several times before. He carefully examined his face and body. All of a sudden, unexpectedly, he started slapping the unconscious man using both the sides of his right hand. Being almost in shock, I tried to stop him and blurted out "Just, what the hell you think you are doing fella?". "Relax man, he is drunk heavily, nothing else will wake him. You too slap him" he replied as coolly as if he was just playing the key role in the big drama.
He was actually right. The unconscious man was heavily drunk and he was regaining consciousness because of the constant slapping. I raised my hand too to slap him and shake him, but got amazed to realize that I couldn’t do it. It’s not that I had not hit a man before, but I found that hitting an unconscious man is a lot harder than hitting a man who is ready to fight with you.
With the passage of time, more people joined us. I grabbed his mobile and tried to search for names like Home, ghar, mom, bhai. I passed the phone to a local bystander as his family members spoke only Marathi and didn’t understand Hindi. By this time, the drunkard almost regained his senses. As he saw all the crowd that gathered him, his eyes expanded to twice their normal size as if a shark had passed him in shallow water.
I then left the drama, leaving him to the mercy of the crowd. I bought my bike's engine to life and resumed my midnight expedition. As there was again nothing much to do, I started thinking, what if he would have fallen to the right side of road and the not on the left side. What if some other safe-driver, who would have been traveling in the opposite lane and collided with him? I pondered over few drastic consequences of drunken driving.
Having enough of it, I resumed my earlier thoughts.
‘Main aur meri tanhai phir ye baatein karne lage, ki woh pillion seat pe hoti toh aisa hota, waisa hota’
Current mood: numb
Current music: Wake up Sid!