Suicide- The Other Side
I had taken a half-day leave for that day. It was my daughter’s birthday, and I had promised to take her for shopping, and then dinner. She was excited about it from a month. From whatever I earn, I had saved up money to gift her the books she wished to read. I am not educated, but I am happy that my daughter is able to study, and reading is her passion. I can’t afford to buy many books for her, but, still she kept her passion alive by borrowing books from her friends.
It was 2 P.M. I quickly finished my lunch. I had to reach home by 4.30, and before that I also had to buy pastries for her. The next metro was scheduled for 2.15 p.m. I took my seat in the cabin. The signal showed green and I started the metro.
Generally, it took about 55 minutes to complete a trip of the 13 stations. The 8th statiom was approaching. As usual, this station was the most crowded one. Just a split second after we entered, a man jumped on to the tracks. In a moment, I applied the brakes. But, the momentum of the running train was such that it took 4 seconds to come to a halt.
This was too much at that moment. The man had already been crushed under the wheels. The atmosphere was suddenly filled with panic, with people rushing to the site, metro officials and guards trying to assess and pull the body out.
But, my body had become numb. My hands and feet were frozen. I could hear no sound except the beating of my heart. A man had been killed my me. I was driving the metro under which his corpse now lay. I could do nothing to save him. I had taken a life. I was oblivious to whatever was going on around me. The motor man shook me. I looked towards him.
“I killed a person.”
“Hey, don’t cry. Don’t feel guilty. This is a suicide. You have done nothing. You did not kill him. Are you listening?”
My brain could not make out what me ears heard. I had lost control of all the senses.
“Come with me,” he placed his hand on my shoulder.
I was walking, blindly. Not understanding a thing. Not listening a thing.
He made me sit down and handed me a glass of water.
I gulped down the water, and looked around. I was in the station master’s office.
“You can take a leave for 2-3 days.”
“Okay, Sir.” These two words were all that I could manage.
I walked out. I was on the street, walking endlessly. I did not know where to go, what to do. Images of the person leaping in front of the metro flashed again and again before my eyes.
I sat down beneath a tree on the pavement. There were no thoughts in my mind. No track of time. I just sat there, staring nowhere. Never in my 15 year career, had I made a mistake while driving. And today, a man died.
I had no knowledge for how long I sat there. Suddenly, I could here my phone ringing. I looked around. The sun had gone down and the moon was shining up there. The street lights were glowing. I looked at my watch. It was 8 p.m.
The phone had stopped ringing. I took it out of my pocket.
39 Missed calls.
“Papa, where are you? Please come home.”
My wife and daughter had called me so many times. But, I don’t remember hearing any ring. Oh no! I had to take my daughter out for her birthday. I had forgot everything. I knew she would be upset. I rushed home. My wife and daughter were tensed.
“Are you alright?” They both asked at the same time.
“Your colleague informed us about the incident,” my wife said.
“Don’t be upset. It wasn’t your fault. You go and freshen up. I’ll get the dinner ready.”
“I am really not hungry. I just want to sleep. You and Riya have your dinner. I am fine.”
She went into the kitchen. I looked at my daughter.
“I am sorry, beta.”
She hugged me.
“No Papa, it’s okay. We’ll go out some other day. You take rest.”
I lay down on my bed, closing my eyes. But, sleep was nowhere close to me. All that I could think was about the man who died under my metro.
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