Sunday, April 24, 2011

Teenage Lives Extinguished Because of Drunk Driving

They were children of the neighbourhood in their teens, friends of Ronnie. They went for what they call a "picnic" to Goa. A friend whose father runs a car renting agency gave his jeep. They had their holiday, or, "picnic" in Goa. One of them was a good dancer who appeared in dance shows on television. One of them a national level basketball player, another, a promising footballer. On the way back, driving at 120 kmph on the Goa highway, things went wrong, horribly wrong. The driver lost control (he is said to have been drunk) the jeep plunged down the road, killing two of them. The above mentioned three are in a New Bombay hospital fighting for their lives, their bodies subjected to multiple surgeries. One of the dead is an only son of his parents whose father never allowed him out of the house. He died on the spot.

The dancer will never dance again. (His uncle who recounted their story is an acquaintance.) His spinal cord has been injured and his very life is in danger. The footballer and basketballer will never play again.  A simple incident has been magnified into a devastating catastrophe for parents, friends, indeed, the entire community of CBD Belapur. There is silence in their homes. An ominous silence. Their own lives have been ruined. Not for nothing is it said, "Don't drink and drive." 

I tell Ronnie this is a lesson. Youngster live in a wild world where they have been provided creature comforts by their hard-working parents. They imagine themselves to be the heroes of the screen doing stunts and enjoying themselves. But life isn't that hedonistic, it is not all enjoyment and no pain. Rash acts can bring pain and certain death. A harsh reality made real by the accident. 

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