Life in the Fast Lane

Ipshita and I had spent the evening watching Dhobi Ghat. Both of us liked the film a lot and were very happy to see a decision for going to the movies not backfiring after a long time. We decided to top the day's events with a drive around necklace road since it was 10 o' clock in the night and the roads would be relatively accommodating.

We started from Cinemax and I drove at a moderate pace, having realized the lack of benefits of driving fast (read rash). We were happily discussing the movie when Ipshita and I spotted a cat (or a kitten) crossing the road in the lane on the other side of the Economic Times building. For a moment it was a routine thing for me, because I see animals cross the road practically every day. However, this one was not supposed to be. The car in front of me did not want to stop or slow down and ran over the cat. I know I can blame the driver because I drive a car and I know when and how we stop cars.

I was not prepared for what I saw next. The car had run over a part of the head of the cat and and cat was jumping around in pain. Ipshita had shrieked the moment she had seen the car run over and I stopped the car in the middle of the road. I came out wanting to help the cat. Maybe take it aside and seek some help. But the cat was just too much in pain to lie in one place and jumping around in an agonizing pain - with blood spurting out. I was too ignorant and did not have the courage to hold the cat -  whose frantic Tandav of pain still troubles me. With the line of cars building behind me, I told Ipshita I am going to park on the side and see what could be done. I did that and took the box of tissues that Ipshita had handed over to me. Meanwhile I asked Ipshita to called up Blue Cross hoping against hope they could do something at 10:30 in the night. Another couple in a car has parked wanting to help the cat which by now very close to death. Blood was oozing out of its head, near the ears, and I could just sense its receding breath. While I was still mustering courage to go near it and help it, another motorcycle ran over it, literally sealing its last breath.

I stood for some seconds, wondering at my helplessness and came back to my car. I had not witnessed something like this ever and it broke me into tears. I could not control my tears for a long time. That night I could not sleep with the cat and its agonizing jumps of pain revisiting me time and again. I still think about it and feel helpless.

But I guess for most of us, this is just Life in the Fast Lane!

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