Archive for October, 2011

Just last night an incident occurred which left me lost in my thoughts, long after it was over. I figured I might not be the only one with such thoughts and feel it’s share-worthy.

While returning from a local grocery store, I noticed a man close to my dad’s age walking down the road that I was crossing. The road was quite a desolate one with a couple of lights illuminating a long stretch. What grabbed my attention was another man, shabbily dressed and dragging himself along the road, who was apparently hinting at needing some money from the former person. This might be a common sight in our country but the “beggar” here was 6 foot tall and did not look weak/needy at all. The elder person was evidently freaked out and decided to walk away briskly. The “beggar” followed with a determined pace. This made my heart skip a beat. Any sane person in this situation could extrapolate the chain of events and realize where it was heading. I stopped the bike and kept my eyes peeled at the duo till I could see them no more. The scene was that of an elderly gentleman in a formal attire (what I guess could be called an “easy catch” in this situation) brisk walking away from what looked like a determined stalker with malice on his mind. I stayed immobile in that lonely dark spot for 10 seconds before turning my bike around and heading towards the potential scene of disaster. I had no idea what I was going to do. My mind was blank. Zero thoughts. Zilch. Nil.

After taking the turn, it took a moment to spot the person but I was glad to see that he had managed to reach a well lit spot with people around. The follower was nowhere to be seen. Although the condition seemed to have been normalized, the adrenaline was still pumping in my blood and it was only now that I really felt the fear. If the situation had turned for the worst, would I have had the courage to step up and put myself in line to protect the victim? Or would I have just witnessed the tragedy as a passive observer, too terrified by the possibility of endangering myself? I honestly have no idea, but I wish I could have found out.

As one of the tracks by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones goes
I’m not a coward,
I’ve just never been tested
I’d like to think that if I was,
I would pass.

We hear of such incidents all the time. But I wonder how many of us could actually be strong enough to step up when needed. A man being mugged, woman being abused, weakling being beat up… would you be one of the few who’d move in to help or just another face in the crowd that looks at the show and walks away shaking his/her head? I don’t know if I would fail or pass the test, but I wish I could find out…