01 November, 2006

Carelessness and Accidents

Believe it or not! First time after coming to UK, we spent Diwali in a nice way. All these years, we never knew that the next day was Diwali unless we received any phone call /mail from relatives and friends. It was a great surprise to see the sky illuminated with fireworks on the night of the Diwali day. We could hear the and see the fireworks for three nights even till 11:30 p.m. To be honest, I did not see this much of pomp and show even in Chennai when I was there last year. Normally in places like Chennai, it does not last for more than a day after Diwali. But here this coincides with Haloween and so keeps continuing. I was bit surprised to see them being done till Midnight, though there is a rule in this country too about the timings. But still the place I live consists of plenty of desis and no wonder about the ways rules are broken. I was just wondering, how people of other beliefs could tolerate, when it was a nuisance for a person like me who celebrate the festival. In fact during a brief chat with one of my English neighbour, who was already irritated by one of her Asian neighbour who frequently parks his car on her driveway, said that these kinds of behaviour and attitude increase the racial differences. I totally agreed with her.
Yesterday, I saw an Asian youth, stopping his car in the middle of a major road, and angrily getting out of the car, and rushed towards the car behind him and abused the driver in the most aggressive manner. The gentleman who was abused was quite old and was worried whether he will be hit. I wondered at the young man’s anger. Whatever would have been that was not the right way to behave. This kindled my thought and took me back to the careless way our people travel and the ‘don’t care attitude’. The picture in this post shows few careless men travelling in a van. They are vegetable vendors and they buy vegetables from wholesale market and return back to sell them in their shops. This is a common sight in the morning. None of them seem to be caring about their safety. This was the first shot I took when I was out of the Airport during my last trip in June.

One of my friends was a good musician and used to play keyboard for familiar troops. One night he was returning back after having played music in a neighbouring town. He had his lovely young daughter on his motorcycle, in the front and his wife as a pillion rider with the keyboard. This cannot be considered safety according to international rules. But this is a common condition in India. Unfortunately, there was a Lorry on the highway, without any hazard lights on. He hit the stationed lorry, and his poor little daughter collapsed on the spot. He died on the way to hospital after hearing about his daughter’s fate. His wife escaped with minor injuries and is living with her son now.

I used to get on my nerves, when I used to see couple riding on motorcycles, with their baby fast asleep and hanging on them. I know few families who lost their breadwinners due to accidents which would have been avoided if a bit care was shown.

Also, some of the parents never used to bother about the way children communicate to their school. Lot of hue and cry had been made in newspapers regarding the way children are transported to school in rickshaws and autorickshaws. I still remember one of those ghastly accidents that happened on the Chetput Bridge. One of my friend’s wives was having her bag hanging on her shoulder and travelling along with my friend. He never wanted to learn riding a two wheeler fearing for the safety. He used to accompany with me everyday to work. Finally, he had his Kinetic Honda. On the fateful day, a water lorry, with its iron plate body protruding pulled her bag while on road, and she was under the wheels. It is needless to say, the aftermath. Again, if proper care had been taken to see the condition of the lorry, this would not have happened.

We live carelessly and blame the fate later. Life is not that cheap and a bit care and safety shown can avoid such things.


Jeevan said...

That's true, some never care about their safety, only argue some things happen. Recently i saw a person on the motorcycle by caring 2 kids on the petrol tank and 2 on his back and his wife with a child on her hand crossing the signal, they are traveling on the risk, if we go alone is hard to balance, if one goes like this....

Nice to know the u got a new experience this Diwali and enjoyed with ur family, even in my area also there was many colorful sky fireworks continuously coming form the nearest multistoried flats.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Yes. It is a common sight in cities like Chennai. Some women sarees and dupattas will be flying so badly, and they used to be so careless and travelling not knowing that the clothes are likely to get tangled in the wheels. If people could think a fraction of second, they could save many lives.

Chandrika said...


I totally agree with you. Whenever I go to India, the first thing which strikes me is this carelessness. I have spent many a restless night wondering about the safety of my loved ones. Our whole system has to change and awareness has to spread.

dany said...

As a two wheeler rider myself i used to commute 45 kms a day. there has not been a single day when i could ride peacefuly. everyday on the road is a nightmare. it comes naturaly for us to break rules.

in signals when it is red i will be afraid more to stop my bike becos the lorry which comes behind doesnt care if it is red or blue or pink. Traffic in chennai sucks.

BTW the still was it palavanthangal subway?

arvindh said...

Yes, safety is very important. However, I think for some safety is not affordable. For example these people in the photo probably have no choice but to hang on to the truck if they want to make some money after unloading it at the destination.

BTW, reg your question in my blog - I just photograph the sketches and upload the digital photos. Ideally a scan produces the best resolution but I dont have a scanner.

I will be writing a narrative to accompany the sketches as soon as I find some time. Thank you for your comment.

Balaji S Rajan said...


As you said, the first thing which comes to my mind when I go out of the Airport at Tirusoolam, is the way our people cross the road and travel. It continues until we reach the Airport for our return.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Oh.. Once I was riding motorcycle for not less than 100 Km in Chennai everyday. Now I wonder how I was doing that in those days. One thing we need to agree is the volume of traffic which has increased considerably. I have lost many friends of mine in accidents. Few of them would have been saved if they were wearing a helmet.

Regarding the still, yes you guessed it right. It is Palavanthangal subway.

Balaji S Rajan said...


I agree. But still if they had considered their life and safety, they would have made a bit of place in the same van, well inside and do not need to hang out there. Some of them take it very easy. I have seen many riding their motorcycles with their helmets on their petrol tank.

Thanks for replying. I wanted to do some sketches and was wondering how you were able to publish in the blog. Wonderful idea! Probably I shall think about it once I purchase my digital camera.

Narayanan Venkitu said...

Balaji, manasa thottuta po! Very true! Who was the keyboard player by the way..very sad!

Life is so precious..Its stupid to not be safe!

Airport la veLiyila vandha udane...photova..Nejai thottathu andha photo.!! I remember our friend Mani - Raghu's Brother.!! Sad..wasn't it.!


Glad to know that you had fun filled Deepavali..Not much of crackers here.! Yet another day...I went to dinner at Saravana Bhavan for dinner after a darisanam at the kovil.

Hope kids, wife and amma are fine. Regards to all.

Love - Ramesh.

Narayanan Venkitu said...

Wow Dany You are amazing my friend!

வேதா said...

people driving two wheelers especially youngsters do not care about their own safety. i drive a scooty and i take my dad to his office everyday and imagine at the peak hour the bikes jus fly past my scooty as though they are participating in a race. moreover most of them dont wear helmets. a cousin of mine has the habit of driving fast once i went with him and i jus pleaded with him half way to stop the vehicle and advised him to drive carefully, i still do it everytime i see him. i dont know wat is that we achieve by rash driving. i jus pity them. the most dangerous sight is couples travelling in bikes with child seated in front and the child is the first one to get affected when accidents occur.

vibhor said...

not only chennai but whole india face this problem espacially UP and bihar where people drive very carelessly, traffic system was not there in most of the cities and till now people ride on bike with more than 2 chilren...

Balaji S Rajan said...


I cannot forget Sridhar da. Do you remember the tall chap, Kumarasamy brother. He died after performing a show in a marriage reception and his kid died on the spot. The kid had danced wonderfully for one of his songs just before her death in the reception and this happened on the bridge. Poor guy, when he came to his conscious he asked about his daughter and the people around him had foolishly said that she collapsed on the spot and he died immediately. I cannot forget this.

Yes... just coming out of the airport I saw this scene and clicked it.

BTW all are fine here.

Balaji S Rajan said...


I am happy to know that there are many more people thinking in the same line. Whenever someone over takes me unnecessarily, I used to feel the same. Why and where are they rushing so mad. Then if I happen to meet them in the signal,used to appreciate them for their speed and encourage that they can go to Cholavaram race and show their skill instead of showing it in Teynampet. Some used to feel bad, and slow down from then. But some used to get wild. Once I shouted at a motorbike who came without headlights in the wrongside in KK Nagar area. They came and stopped and were looking like thugs. I knew that they are going to attack me. I told them softly that I was just returning from a Hospital after having seen a victim who is fighting for death, and shouted at them for their negligence. Though they were rowdies, they felt ashamed of their attitude and felt sorry for their behaviour. What to do? I think our life will be spent in advising. I would advise most of the two wheelers or drivers to visit an Emergency ward, before they started driving on the road and see the victims. Automatically, they will reduce their speed. In India, we do not have any strict driving rules and it is a chaos there. Only if people, change things will be the same.

Balaji S Rajan said...


Oh..yeah.. it should be in most of the major cities. Since I am more experienced with Chennai and visit there during holidays, I expressed my views about Chennai. I am aware that this is the same condition in most of the cities. I have seen few major cities. All are the same.

Narayanan Venkitu said...

Heart became too heavy today after reading about Sridhar..God..How did I forget him!

Very Very sad..!

visithra said...

Rather than the ethinicity i think rudeness is a character - every race has its ugly individuals

i shudder everytime i see this multiple pillion riders especially when its children - sometiems i feel like winding down the mirror n giving them a earful

just the other day this motorcyclist sweered into the lane i was turning into catching me off guard thankfully i braked on time

Balaji S Rajan said...

Visithra- Everybody seems to have faced such a situation. Yes you are right. Rudeness seems to be a character. That happens here too with some people.

Suji said...

Very true...a little more care n consideration on the road will reduce more than 50% of the accidents.

Balaji S Rajan said...

Suji - You are right. 'Consideration' is the key word.

harman said...

There is very little scope for this road rage & carelessness to go. It seems we do not value life because we are more than 1 billion strong.

But an effort has to be made & its good to see you guys discussing this.

We are making an effort to help reduce this

ArriveSafe is a project to preserve human life
to make people get back home safe
because we know roads can kill or maim...


sankalp said...

A friend of mine driving his Car at night fell into a two and a half foot pothole as he could not see it because there was neither any indication nor any lighting system on the newly constructed road. This is happened just b'coz of CARELESSNESS!!!!

Most of the accidents are caused by carelessness and committing traffic offences, such as jumping red signals or drunken driving...No driving after Drinking. Carelessness or indiscretion is no excuse for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drunk Driving.

Discuss your views as well as thoughts on indian roads as well as indian traffic...