Friday, July 17, 2009

The Man On The Rubble

I’m on the way to school, and I’m writing in my journal. God, these bumpy roads make my already curvy handwriting look like a 1st grader’s-

Oh, wow. Is that what I think it is?

I see a pile of rubble near a construction site, in front of which we have gotten stuck in a traffic jam.

Now there really isn’t anything special about this pile of rubble, except for the tiniest detail that a man is lying unconscious on it.

No, this isn’t one of my stupid jokes. In fact, I think this is the moment the Unconscious Man on the Rubble enters my life.

He’s alive, I’m sure of it. The Unconscious Man on the Rubble probably had an especially “fun” night at the bar.


But the sad part? No one was helping him get up or anything.

Doesn’t the Unconscious Guy on the Rubble have a family? A wife that drags him home after a wild night at the pub? A son that slaps him silly and then hugs him when he finds his father on the rubble? A daughter that cries for help to lift her intoxicated father up?

After coming to all these observations, I notice that none of my guesses has come true. In fact, a little kid is now trying to steal the Unconscious Guy on the Rubble’s bicycle.

Welcome to India.

I look at the other passengers in the bus. All of them were talking and chattering, or listening to music.

But no one has noticed the Unconscious Guy on the Rubble.

I start to wonder, though. How would it be if I was the Unconscious Guy on the Rubble? Would anyone help me? I mean, for sure my family would be screeching for an ambulance, and my friends would be laughing at the stupidity of the situation while screeching for an ambulance at the same time. But what about the general public? The people that DON'T know me?

Do they have an obligation to assist an Unconscious Girl on the Rubble? Or would they be too scared to go against social norms?

I mean, don’t deny it. In India, it’s every man for himself.

Honestly, if I was walking passed the Unconscious Guy on the Rubble, I don’t think I would have helped him.

I mean, if I had the guts to call an ambulance myself and ask for help, then yeah, maybe one day.

But not now, I’m certain. I don’t have the courage to walk up to him, in front of all my classmates and say “Need a hand?”

So… end of story.

But let’s end with a question, shall we? Because I really do like asking almost-rhetorical questions. They’re so… mysterious.


I am possibly one of the few people who find linguistic features “mysterious”.

Live with it.

But getting back to my question-

If you were to make a similar decision, would you choose the one that you think is right, or the one that society has deemed to be right?

As the traffic dissolves, and I pass the Unconscious Man on the Rubble, I finally realize another thing most people don’t like to admit.

Sometimes, it really is too late.

So, try and answer my question.

I’m sure that the Unconscious Man on the Rubble would love to hear your views, assuming that he becomes the Conscious Man on the Rubble once more.


All this thinking and lessons haven’t even started yet.

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