It's been the same road always to office.
The same turns, the same bends, and with the predictable Chennai corporation, it's even been the same pot holes always! The morning cruise has me losing over those melodious songs that play in my car always. That day as usual, mostly unconsciously, i knew where my speedo needle stood, where my fuel gauge stood and even the measure of traffic outside.
And then those tiny limbs shook me out of my reverie.
In the middle of Venkatnarayana road lied a small kitten. Hit by speeding vehicle, blood around it's head, legs shaking desperately, the plea written all over it's face. I felt the pain and i wanted to stop immedietely. I didn't. Not immedietely, at least - not until few throughts rolled around in my head.
Shameless, shocking, Inhuman it may seem, but i force myself to write what feelings went through my mind then which made me waste those precious seconds. I want to face my fear, my shame, my guilt.
"Oh my god - is that kitten dead? Thank god - It's not! - Can i stop here? Here let me get to the side."
"The meeting with Ruth is at 8:30 AM. Would i be late? Should i really stop? Would it be okay if i am slightly late? Oh my god, it's already 8:00 AM - the traffic signals would start getting clogged now. It'll be so difficult to drive. Why can't anyone else take care of the kitten? How can everyone be so heartless?"
.. and then i realized, i was being as heartless and as cold as anyone else. My decision was made.
Just before i stoppped, very shockingly, there was one more thing that i thought of
"What would the people think of me? Would they think i am trying to show off with this act?" Though dismissed as fast as it had occured, on hindsight, how could i even get such a thought?
With hazardlights on, i managed to stop on the side of the busy road, and ran in between those swishing cars and zooming bikes to reach that poor creature. The legs were still desperately moving. I was happy, it was at least alive. Some vehicle had hit it's head before it could move away. I saw the fear, the pain in those eyes for a moment and those cries that it was silently making. If you ever had to put your hands under a bleeding head to support it, you would know what i felt then.
Surrealistically, i was sincerely wanting to hear a movie director call "Cut!!" and to have some people rush into me, get the kitten washed, let the red paint go and then let it jump in joy again. Crossed the road to the hospital. Humans, they said. They treat only humans. And did you hit it? How did it happen?
Save a life - damn them! - that was not in their priority. Got the nearest Vet hospital address from them and i ran to my car. Only to realize that the legs had stopped their movement. The eyes had lost it's life. The small kitten was dead.
I hated myself. Those few seconds could have saved a life. I don't know if it would have, and now i don't have a chance to find out. And i want to believe that it could have. Next time, i do not want to find myself putting anything above saving a life. Any life.
Those lifeless eyes still pleaded at me. At the monster who didn't think it's life was worth saving.