Venugopal Narayanan is an Accountant at the Royal Treasury of the kingdom of Pallavas. He was a talented young man and led a principled life. His morning routine was getting up to half hour of yoga at 6AM and then bathing in the river for 20 minutes as he practiced his singing. He then spends another half hour walking to the Palace to start his work for the day. King Mahendra Verma Pallava took care of his officials very well. Gopal, as he was called by his colleagues, was very glad to have a breakfast and Lunch from the Royal Kitchen.
The same Venugopal Narayanan in the present day works as a Software Developer at one of those big buildings at IT Corridor in Chennai. He wakes up as early as 7AM gets ready in an hour and eats in a small restaurant outside his apartment complex and starts off for a 1 hour ride in his bike to his office. His lunch is usually in the office that serves a variety of rice items in small quantities or steps out for an Andhra meals. Gops, as he was called by his colleagues, was very glad that he has a decent job, earning decent money.
Gopal is having a busy day today. They were getting close to the Royal Budget session of the year which means he had to work harder on the numbers as the staff would have to face the yearly audit by the minister. Gopal usually spends a good 1 hour eating his lunch, but he had to cut it short to 30 minutes and get back to his calculations. As the afternoon passed, Gopal’s friend had to leave soon for the day as his wife was in labour. Gopal took over his friend’s work and stayed a good 2 hours late to finish up before tomorrow’s audit. It was 7PM and it was now dark outside. He had to walk back to his home in the dark, all alone.
Gops is a manager’s favorite. He can code as much as 40% faster than his peer programmers. He likes to take additional responsibilities and so he was working harder to get everything ready for this weekend’s project release. Ever since his co-developer Madhavi had gone on a Maternity Leave, He had been working an hour late everyday and today he stayed back a full 2 hours late. He finished his dinner at the office and wasn’t ready to go until 10PM.
Gopal borrowed a lantern from the Security guard and walked home. As he got out of the palace, he felt unusual silence. He was not used to going home at this hour. The roads were empty and the air was filled with the noise of crickets, which was the way he identified silence. Gopal is a brave man but he was afraid of dark. Perhaps a feeling of not knowing what’s ahead and around, makes him afraid.Gopal treads for a few minutes carefully holding the lantern. He hears a rustling noise of the leaves and turns his head towards the noise. It causes 2 seconds of distraction making him look away from the road in front. But those 2 seconds were enough to make him miss a huge stone lying on the side of the road. Gopal stumbles upon the stone and falls on the edge of the road and rolls over to the side into a ditch and hits his head to the wall of the ditch. He sprains his legs and is unable to lift himself up.
Gops is used to driving back home at nights. A busy city like Chennai always had bright road lights and people moving around until 10PM, Just like Bono sings – “In the city of blinding lights”. So there was nothing to worry about except uncertainty. The roads were where the scariest of the accidents took place. Gops was driving back home in a one way street and quite unexpectedly he saw an autorickshaw coming towards him from a No Entry. Only 2 seconds he had to correct the course of his bike. But 2 seconds were too little for him and the autorickshaw to adjust as Gops goes too wide and falls into the middle of the road. A speeding bus comes from his behind and the driver of the bus notices Gops and his bike. The drivers takes aversive action that makes the bike, fall prey to the behemoth. Gops has enough time to roll over but only so much to leave his right leg to be run over by the bus shattering into pieces.
It was painful for Gopal to even lift himself up. He tried to use a cloth torn out of his dhoti to stop the bleeding from his head, but in a few minutes he went unconscious. There wasn’t much loss of blood, but it was enough to knock him out. There was no one in the vicinity. Gopal was all alone unconscious accompanied by the noises of cricket, the occasional breeze rustling the leaves of trees. After about 3 hours, a passer by in his bullock cart notices the broken lantern on the road and follows to the ditch. He sees Gopal lying there unconscious and without a second thought he bends down and pulls him up. Gopal was still alive. The stranger freshens him up with some water and cleans the wound. Gopal is then put in the cart by the stranger and is taken to the doctor’s home to treat him.
Gops was surprisingly conscious and was able to look at the pieces of his legs even in the sheer pain. Gops tries to stand up on his one leg and collects the pieces, still crying aloud in his pain. With the pieces in his hand he looks around. There were about 10 pedestrains who looked at him but were not willing to help him up. A cop comes around and marks the area as the accident spot and gets busy diverting the people and the traffic. The bus and the autorickshaw involved in the accident flew away from the spot. There were a lot of vehicles passing by that side, which had the civilized lot like the doctors, engineers, lawyers who were slowing down to look at Gops but none of them stopped. There must have been a 100 onlookers in a span of 1 minute but no one wanted to help Gops. Gops catches an autorickshaw, probably the only kind soul, who agrees to take him to the hospital. It was the hospital where his uncle is a surgeon. Gops is immediately taken in and operated on. The pieces of his legs are put together and his uncle takes care of him very well.
Gopal was thankful to God to send a passerby at that time of the night. Gopal thanked the stranger for saving his life. Gopal lived his life the fullest from the next day onwards.
As for Gops, There was only one thought in his mind. He wasn’t thanking God or thanking his Uncle or thanking the auto driver who brought him to the hospital. He would do that later, but right now he was pained by the fact that there was no one who cared about a stranger in distress. He could not even imagine what would have happened if he didn’t have an uncle as a surgeon in a hospital. It took several months for Gops to recover but the pain of his fellow human beings leaving him by himself when he was a victim of unorderliness for a fraction of a second left him scarred.
In an advanced civilization with a lot of people around and a lot of advanced technolgy on hand, Gops was left to stand on his own. Gops became stronger and lived his life as a brave young man achieving all the dreams in his life.