Posts Tagged ‘safety’

As India lifted the 2007 T20 World Cup, Prem had fallen hook, line and sinker with two things – Dhoni and his long locks of hair. Prem decided to grow his own locks replicating his hero Dhoni. A year’s investment and Prem was flaunting his beautifully grown mane to all and sundry. A bike ride on his pulsar was enough to make him the cynosure of the locality. Happy days but his joy was cut short!

A mandatory rule by the government to wear helmets meant Prem’s mane had to be hidden beneath the protective gear. But Prem was in no mood whatsoever to follow this rule. He did not grow his hair to leave it hidden. He did buy a helmet and used it only on seeing a policeman. It meant more or less the helmet was always on the petrol tank of the bike he rode.

On a fateful Sunday morning, Prem was on his way in his bike and the helmet neatly placed on top of his bike’s petrol tank. The cool breeze was fondling Prem’s locks as he rode faster and faster to relish the wonderful climate which was a rarity in Chennai. He soon reached an underground bridge and accelerated to reach the top. As he did, the bike hit a manhole on the way up and Prem lost balance for a few seconds. The helmet that was on the petrol tank fell to the ground as Prem struggled for balance. He managed to bring the bike to a halt and stopped to pick up his fallen helmet. Just then he saw a young couple, with a baby, who had been travelling behind Prem in their bike, hit his helmet that was lying down on the road. The man who drove the bike lost balance and the lady with a baby in the hand had to take evasive action. Luckily they were not riding as fast as Prem did. The lady had the presence of mind to jump with the baby in hand and had managed to escape unscathed. The man who drove the bike was not that lucky as he hit the ground and lost complete control of his vehicle. Prem was up and running to save the man who fell down as he realized the cardinal sin he had committed.

There were a few other riders who stopped by then and a small crowd had formed. Expletives were thrown at Prem generously and he deserved it all. The man who fell down was back on his feet now with few scratches on his hand and legs. Prem had the presence of mind to help him out even as people were ready to beat Prem up black and blue. Prem knew there was more coming his way once the man was stable and back to senses. Amidst taunts from the crowd for beating Prem, the wounded man simply told Prem “Wearing helmet will surely save you and it can also save others.” A little pat on Prem’s cheek with a smile, the man drove away along with his family.

Recollecting what had unfolded few seconds back, Prem by impulse wore his helmet and drove to the destination he had never planned to go for a long long time – “Royal Salon”!  He sat quietly and requested the barber to cut his locks neat and short!

(I wrote this story for telltaleclub – a blog that holds a trove of short stories )