Whose side are you on?
through life, we choose many directions, many sides. We knew
about right and wrong as things that are done and not done in
a certain way from a very young age. Then we came to know about
left and right. They gave us a sense of direction like the right
side, left side etc. As we grew older we came to know about
various other implications of sides as well in our lives. Because
right and left had to do with politics. In fact when we were
young it was right to be left. And then, of course, right kept
climbing higher and higher in terms of being right and, today,
to be right is right. At least the Policeman of the world says
so. I am unnecessarily swaying with tide of unorganised thoughts.
Let me try to focus on what I thought I would speak about today.
I would venture to speak on such trifles as the right and wrong
sides of the road.
I was driving
through the Gulshan Avenue at seven in the morning of a Friday.
There were only a few transports on the road. All on a sudden
a car appeared at a considerable speed from one of the lanes
in the left and before I could swerve to the right, rammed against
mine. Fortunately for me, I managed to swerve enough to the
right to have been able to miss the full impact. It took me
a few seconds to get a hold of myself and get down from the
car to see what the damage was like. The driver of the other
vehicle was already in front of his car, trying to find out
what I had done to it. Seeing me in front of him he said, “Well,
thank God I had seen you through the corner of my eyes otherwise
I would have been done for”. I said, “I had the right of the
road because I was in the right side (not wrong side)”. He said,
“what do you mean right of the road? While on the road every
one has equal rights”. I thought it was useless arguing with
him and left with an ugly dent on the left fender of my car.
I, at least, was still alive. What happens most of the time
in an accident of this sort is that before you get to realise
any thing you are despatched to another world. This happens
as our drivers do not care about the right of the road. And
more often than not these drivers are at the helm of the buses.
There was a time when we used to call the trucks, killers. We
used to say “killer trucks”. But now that role has been taken
over by the buses and they have earned the title of “Bus Mafiosi”.
A slight digression. I must share another experience with my
readers. I was waiting behind the wheels in a road jam. In front
of me there was another car. A rickshaw puller came from my
left and wanted to manoeuvre through the gap between my car
and the one in front. In the process one of his wheels got stuck
with the bumper of my car. On such occasions I usually surrender
myself to reticence. I saw the Rickshaw Puller trying his best
to get his wheel disengaged and eventually gave up, huffing
and puffing. At this point the passenger of the rickshaw came
down to me and said, “why aren’t you helping him?”. I said,
“why was he trying to achieve the impossible?” “Because he is
small and he has the right to”, said the passenger. Now, I became
phlegmatic. I know that if I was hit by a bigger automotive
contraption and was even done to death none of its passengers
would lift a finger in protest. This should teach the mortals
like us not to be sandwiched between the big and small.
to buses, have you noticed what is usually written as a matter
of assurance on the back of them? It is written “in the name
of God I leave”. What is not written, however, is that after
this if I hit you, don’t blame me blame God. It’s also written,
sometimes, that every passenger in this bus is insured. This,
of course, gives little solace to its passengers. To get back
on track with sides, there’s no “whose side” on the road of
the city, country or of life. There’s only “my side”. Everything
and everybody else can go to hell. My space and your space should
be one, no right or left, no right or wrong.