Accidents are a part of day to day life in Bombay.We are among the most fearless and probably brainless people ever born.No,do not take me in the wrong ,but to be as fearless as we are,is a tad foolish.Take this for an instance,there are about 300 people who die on the central and western railway lines alone. This is excepting the number of road accidents,bomb blasts and building crashes.Yet people never change.The best example for this would be the much acclaimed act of hanging at the door in a moving train.This act finds equanimity among all the famed railway lines in this city.Of course there are people who participate in this act because they ahve no choice,and there are people who participate as they have pretty much ntohing else to do.Yes,they know about the risks and some have even stared at them in the face,but stuborn ass.... as they are,they won't change.Well,most of my people would be surprised to hear this coming from me,since I myself am a 'Footboard Traveller',but I too am a human.There are sometimes when I wish I hadn't done what I did,this is one such moment.
I speak of this because an incident has happened that connects me to this post very directly.My cousin brother,the eldest one of our generation,is quite an eccentricity in himself.When he got himself injured yesterday,the family didn't quite go berserk but on the contrary burst out laughing.It happened yesterday.I am staying for the past few weeks....or is it months... at my uncle's place in a suburb of this city.It was about 7.30 pm in the evening, me and the 'Geek' ( Hereforth I shall refer to him in that term only),were dong something...though I don't exactly recollect what.The knock on the door was answered,and we found the 'hero'of this plot standing at the dooorstep.
His appearance does not betray any sign of the pain he is suffering.Dressed in a cream shirt,he enters,holding his left hand across his stomach.The first question that was put forth to him was "Is your stomach aching?".Poor fellow,couldn't help smiling as he answered no.More prodding reveals that he has been hit by the 'inside pole' while climbing into the crowded dungeon of the train.It seems that he had noi choice but to hang on to the door for his dear life.In this process,he actually was pushed forcibly by the crowd;which caused his hand to hit the pole with such fiery intensity that he now can't lift it up to his nose to scratch it.Tchk,TchkTchk,poor ol' boy.He might have won sympathy,but not my confidence.I'll tell you later why.
Now,we had a problem on our hands.If injury wasn't bad enough,the protagonist is also among the best misers I have known.No,he is a good boy but a tad stingy about money.Fine,we said.Do not pay,but get yourself treated.NO,he replied defiantly.We waited as we could see him grimacing as the swelling on his arm,stung him.Finally,he relented.We took him to a GP,who immediately confirmed our doubts of the injury being that of a fracture.He,in fact,threatened a major one.He directed us to a orthopaedist,and asked us to get an X-ray done;pronto.
We hurried on to the hospital.All this while,our 'hero' was crying and cribbing the expenses he was going to incur on us.We were getting bored of it,I was so irked that I would have broken his second arm and gladly paid for his expenses.The thought that he is a weakling(at least then) stopped me.We got to the orthopaedic,and presented our sample to him.After a few twists here,a few tweaks there;which our patient bit his teeth through; he announced his decision.He had serious doubts about the fracture.Excellent!!We marched on to the X-ray department.
The X-ray technician was even more merciless as he pulled the patient's arm to adjust the position exactly beneath the light.HE seemed to be a perfectionist,as he changed the position twice or thrice,with our poor brother biting his teeth and struggling to maintain poise.Finally it was done.The technician vanished into his lab to wash,dry,and hang the final result.Surprisingly,it didn't take long for he was back soon.He held up the X-ray proudly and showed us the spot.The crack looked like....well a crack.We went back to the specialist.HE immediately scribbled something unintelligible in his pad,and handed it over to get from the chemist.Leaving our 'crack'there, me and the 'geek' walked down.
As we looked at the bill for the stuff,we realised that it would have been better that we had carried more cash on us.The need was urgent.So an SOS was despatched to a fellow resident.He arrived shortly.Together we waited as the doc worked on our protagonist.He emerged from the room,his left arm strapped in a sling.We decided to take him abck home.Surely,he needed a night of peace to get ready for what awaits him,when his father gets here.
I lok back at this incident and try not to laugh.The reason is,I have a serious doubt that he did not get injured while he was on the inside.According to me,he must have been hit by a passing pole while he was hanging on the door,more knowingly than forcibly.The reason I put forward to his denial of this fact is,ego.In fact,if I were in his place I would have done the same thing.It is much more embarassing to accept that you could not stand on the footboaard correctly than it is to acknowledge that the crowd was too much for you to handle.Anyways,FYI,the guy just got things complicated.The 'doc' in the house thinks he might have to insert a pin in order to fix the damage done.Well,think that would keep him off my back for about three or four weeks.Also,that should act asa deterrent to all those 'Footboard Travellers';including me; to stop acting cool and act smart.
As they say in the railway safety advertisement " Somebody is waiting for you back home."