Wednesday, 26 December 2018

If Not Now, Then When? The Time to Act is Now!

Glad that you took out time to read this piece amidst the festivities! Hope you had a great Christmas and are planning for a great New Year- 2019!
Am sure, your resolution list would be already brimming with items that reflect your aspirations! If you allow, I would like to add one item to that list. Ok, before we dwell into what that is , let me ask you a question. Have you ever seen a Jumbo Jet?
 Better, ever travelled in one? A Boeing 747 or an Airbus 380 is called as a Jumbo Jet because of their large size. A Jumbo Jet, generally used for inter-continental travel carries not only approximately 400+ people across destinations but carries hopes, aspirations of more than 400+ families for thousands of miles on their next destinations, aims in life!
In the current scenario in India, 400 people lose their lives every day on Indian roads (Does this ring a bell now?). Same like jumbo jets, Indian roads and vehicles help us travel from one location to the other. One destination to next. One aim to the other. But of all those Indians who make these journeys everyday, some 400 of them get lost somewhere in between and put their families on a road of difficulty, pain and suffering. A jumbo jet is losing its way and disappearing in thin air every day!
Of these few die because of their own fault while the rest die because of the fault of others! 20 children under the age of 14 die every day in India, just because of the fault of someone else. The state of affair seems more and more appalling as we dig deeper.
Can you, now, realize the magnitude of the problem? What If I told you, by the time you read this bit, somewhere in India a person would have met with a road-accident and by the time you are done reading this article, one of 4 people would have lost their life. 
How the Problem Has Aggravated
 India signed the Brasilia Declaration in 2010 and agreed to become a party to the nations who agreed to reduce the number of road-crash fatalities by 50% till 2020 however the figure has only been constantly increasing till recently. As we enter into 2019, we look into one of the worst failures of not only the Indian Govt but all of us ever! From approx 75,000+ people in 2010 we lost more than 1.45 lakh people in 2017! The figures have doubled and so has the length and breadth of the problem!
India added more cars to the roads in the last 10 years than most of the EU countries combined but forgot to inherit the driving sense and the required infrastructure to support the burden! As the vehicles increased – the fatalities increased exponentially but no action has been taken!
From problems like potholes, to weaker laws, to weak driving habits, no strict enforcement, lack of strict laws to poor post-accident emergency care, if you start to reason out why we are facing the possibilities of having road-crashes as one of the top-5 reasons for human deaths by 2030 or currently as the leading cause of death for people between 5-29 years of age – the answer lies within.
Did you put your seatbelt today while driving? Did you stop at the red light? Did you ask your friend to be a bit un-cool today and wear that helmet? Did you take a cab after your xmas party and did not drink and drive?
As India faces one of the largest man-made disaster today, its time all of us pledge that we would come together and make sure no more lives are lost to this!

Current Most Important Issue in RS Space: MV Amendment Act 2017
While, we sip our chai in the hot weather, oblivious to the issue of “road-safety”, there has been a long tussle going on in the Indian Parliament related to the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill, 2017.
[ The Motor Vehicle Act, the MV Act 1988 of the Parliament of India regulates all aspects of road transport vehicles but it is being practiced with its own insufficiencies and a lot of aspects that needs to be changed in the current time. This act is currently handling all legal aspects of using any motor vehicle on Indian roads, from driving license to penalties. But certain aspects of the act need to be updated to be relevant in the current time and to make our roads safe]
Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2017, approved by PM Shri Narendra Modi-led Cabinet on Aug, 2017 which aims to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities resulting from them. In the present Motor Vehicle Act, there are 223 Sections out of which the Bill has tried to amend 68 sections. The making of new provisions in the MV Amendment Act 2017 is to simplify the third party insurance claims and settlement process. The new provision ensures higher penalties and higher compensation for hit and run cases. The Motor Vehicle Bill proposes insertion of 28 new sections. Introductions of these new amendments are to improve road safety and citizens’ ease. They also focus on making the roads and the current road-infrastructure better and better connectivity all around the nation. It focuses on strengthening rural transport automation and computerization, enabling online services too.
The Bill though has already been passed in Lok Sabha but is being deliberated upon in Rajya Sabha which witnessed opposition from many political parties of the opposition and hence is yet to be approved. The parties have brought to fore many issues including but not limited to more power concentrated in hands of the Central Govt than the state govt.
Some important revisions being proposed in the MV (Amendment) Act 2017:
  • For deaths in hit-and-run cases, the government will provide a compensation of Rs 2 lakh or more to the victim’s family. Currently, the amount is just Rs 25,000. 
  • The minimum fine for drunk driving has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. 
  • The fine for rash driving has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000. 
  • Driving without a licence will attract a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 as against Rs 500 at present. 
  • The fine for over-speeding will go up from Rs 400 to Rs 1,000-2,000. 
  • Not wearing seatbelt would attract a fine of Rs 1,000 as against Rs 100 at present. 
  • Talking on a mobile phone while driving will attract a fine of Rs 5,000, up from Rs 1,000. 
At this moment, we all need to support the MV (Amendment) Act, 2017 in the present form as though it might have a few downsides – which can be improved subsequently, but if the act is not passed in the current Winter Session of the Parliament, the bill would lapse and then would depend on the next elected government to present in the parliament and implement the same. Hence, it would be again next 2-3 years before we can have the better act implemented to ensure Safer Roads.
Currently, WHO with Indian Road Safety Campaign, Solve are running a campaign that can motivate the MPs in Rajya Sabha to show their support towards the act and help its passage! To do your bit for the same, please sign the petition here: 

Why We All Need to Come Together
Road-safety like other major public health issues is a multi-sectoral issue and needs each and every-one to come together so that we can completely eradicate this problem. From healthcare to law, from engineering to design, from policy making to enforcement, from 80 year old to a school going kid- everyone needs to do their bit to make Indian Roads Safer!
If we need to make our roads safe, each one of us needs to follow rules! There are instances where a drunk driver ramps into a car being driven properly carrying a family – killing everyone. There are instances where young kids are crushed by high-speed vehicles near schools. All of us are equally important to make safe roads and safer ecosystem. The parents needs to follow traffic rules to set better examples infront of their kids, the PWD dept and authorities need to develop better roads and immediate remediation of potholes). Additionally, the post-accident emergency care needs to ramp up, the roads need to have better design, the enforcement needs to be better and stricter and there needs to be wide-spread awareness about the issue.
Like passage of the MV (Amendment) Act, which can only be passed if everyone in the Indian Parliament is united and comes together irrespective of their political affiliations, at each and every step of this journey, we need to come together and act for the cause.
 Can I Do Something to Change the Scenario?
Yes, absolutely! Road-safety like any other social problem is an issue where humans are the problems and solution themselves. Let us not let even one death go unnoticed. In the current scenario, one death is considered insignificant and too many deaths become a statistic. We together need to come together and change this perception. A death, a human death should not be insignificant and we all need to make sure no further lives are lost on Indian roads.

What can a simple person do? Answer: a lot. I have enlisted few ways in which we all can do our bit to make Indian roads safe:
  1. Drive Safely and follow traffic rules
  2. Always put up a Safety Gear (Helmet/Seat-Belt)
  3. Provide first aid to Accident Victims
  4. Report an Accident and help them reach Hospital within the Golden Hour
  5. Help the Administration in Resolving Infra Issues by Reporting Them via available channels
  6. Appreciate Good Behavior and Motivate People to Follow Traffic Rules

Above listed methods are those which can easily change the scenario of road-safety in India without any time-taking effort or major initiative from all citizens. If all of us pledge today, that we would make a sincere effort towards Safer Roads, we would be able to achieve the target of reducing 50% fatalities by 2020 and aim for zero deaths due to road-accident fatalities by 2030.
At this moment in India, we need more and more youths to don the hat of being a road-safety crusader, join the existing task-force near you or create your own army – and gear up to solve one of the most pressing issues facing man-kind today!  One person, one act can start something that can change the world!
Are you ready to do your bit?
Hope – Following Traffic Rules has made to your New Year Resolution List! And make this resolution the one that stands out, is followed day in and day out unlike all those resolutions till date!
Wish you all a very Happy and Safe New Year!

#HarEkZarroriHai #HumseFarakPadtaHai #MeraBharatSurakshitBharat #Let’sTogetherMakeIndianRoadsSafer


For people who strive to do more using their skill-sets, we at Indian Road Safety Campaign, have plethora of opportunities for you to contribute. Come, visit: today and register with us to make Indian Roads Safer!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Need of Trained First Responders in India

What is first responder exactly? A first responder is a person with specialised training who is among the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency, such as an accident, disaster, or terrorist attacks. Basically the first responders’ most important and most basic work is first-aid. Unfortunately accidents can happen with anyone at any place. Most of them are on the roads. Not in all accidents ‘on-the-spot’ deaths take place. In many many accidents the victim needs immediate help, failing which they die. First aid seems a very simple and not so significant job but the reality is, it is one the most important work. Because sometimes right and timely first aid can help the specialists to save one’s life.

In a country like India with such a huge population, diverse geographical conditions, lack or ignorance of road safety measures, it is more likely to have huge counts of accidental deaths and injuries. And a lot of times the death occurs due to no immediate help provided or wrong first aid done. That clearly means that there is an urgent need to train first responders of the accident sites.

Training shouldn’t be available to certain people. First aid training should ideally be given to almost everyone so that in the absence of certified first responder at least some amount of aid could be provided. There are few ways we can train and spread awareness about the need to train the first responders in India. The most convenient way can be a training the students in school, at least the basics of first aid. The already first respondent holder should be trained on a regular basis with new techniques and methods of first aid. The people who importantly work on roads should be given certified first aid training for instance, the traffic police, the drivers and riders, etc.

There are many advantages of first responders’ training.
  • It affords people with the ability to provide help during various emergency situations. 
  • First aid helps ensure that the right methods of administering medical assistance are provided.
  • Knowledge in first aid also benefits the individuals themselves.

Accidents will always happen. Because of this, properly-trained individuals and the right first aid equipment help ensure better safety for everyone. Without the proper first aid, a simple injury could turn into something much more severe. Many fatalities resulting from accidents and emergency situations result from lack of immediate medical treatment. First aid doesn’t just facilitate recovery. It helps save lives.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Millennium || IRSC

At times the questions with the most obvious answers are often asked. So is , "is road safety
really important?" Even when the
slowest animal - the "turtle" knows how important a helmet is. Maybe no ! Because had it been
one would you would have atleast once wondered the puppy you killed had its mumma sitting
up waiting for it to come home but it is dead , the 19 year old could have reached his sister's
wedding on two legs and not four shoulders . And not everyday someone would have lost his
life not in peace but on the racing roads resulting to 29,989 fatal crashes in 2014 alone leading
to 32,675 deaths .
Which is self explanatory of the severity of this burning issue. So as is asked " Is road safety
Maybe no , because traffic lights would not just alone would be obeyed because of the fear of
chalaan. Maybe no , because hairstyle matter more than helmets . Maybe no, otherwise seat
belts would have been worn just as scents. Maybe no , otherwise the black and white zebra
cross would not have lost its significance in the colourful world . Maybe no, because the red
lights are now just the decorations on the road . Maybe no , because the speed limits are not
taken with the same seriousness as the 1GB data limit. Maybe no , because headfones would
have let the horns be heard. Maybe no , because manholes are no more considered to be
covered . Maybe no , because cards would have been given to kids for play not cars. Maybe no,
because safety symbols are not memorised as the emojis. Maybe no , because getting the
pollution control checked is not as important as checking Facebook.
And the list might never find an end.
As it is often quoted " rules are made to be broken " why don't they mention about the bones.
Keep extra time to reach your destination not extra speed. And wait for the red , if you do not
wish to end up dead . Else , otherwise even its way better to be
late ,than be mister late.
As even normal speed can meet your need,
because when you gamble with safety you bet your life.
Remember ,
Accidents don't happen they are caused.
Once these seeds of enlightenment have their roots penetrating deep into each and everyone's
conscious will we be able to see a change in the society towards a better tomorrow and a
perfect fortnight.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Zainab Batool_iSafeExpressia

The day I realised the need to follow safe road practices
Category: Poetry
A busy life
This life indeed is a busy one,
With thousands of demands and a little time;
We have too many places to be,
Too many meetings, still in line;
No time to stop, no time to breathe,
The cars rush past on a busy street;
But if you could find a few minutes to spare,
Then listen to my story, take a back seat.
It was just another day,
Of this mundane schedule,
When I learnt a lesson,
Discovered a golden rule;
Sitting quietly in the car,
As it picked up speed,
I picked up the phone,
There was a message to read.
Then the car in front abruptly stopped,
Pulling the breaks, I flew forward dangerously;
In that moment, my heart beat paused,
As my head hit the panel in front of me;
But a caring force had held me back,
Gripping me firmly in its hold;
I looked down at the broad black belt,
Smiling at me, wise and old;
Maybe you think this story’s old,
And probably, you’ve been there too,
And in that moment, I realised,
Practicing road safety is the right thing to do.
Life may be fast, but there is no point,
In being too fast, and losing life;
Life may be fast, but there’s no point,
Walking on the edge of a sharpened knife;
What a pity it is to lose this gift,
To nothing but haste and carelessness!
So be wise and follow the rules,
And drive off safely to happiness.
Name: Zainab Batool

College: Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Essay on Road Safety || Bhavuk Pujara

It was one fine morning when they all were driving within lanes, maintaining the safe distance between them, not speeding, not jumping signals, in fact they were slowing down at the Yellow light so as to stop by Red, no one overtaking my car on highway, no one honking on busy city roads and those pedestrians crossing only at Zebra Crossing. Sounds like Utopia, doesn’t it? No, I wasn’t dreaming either. This was my first day to work in Seattle, USA and the day I noticed the mere existence of traffic rules. Aah! What a beautiful morning that was! Back in India I’d consider lanes as “designs” on roads so I can switch them often and kill time, Red light ahead on my road would only be considered a “Stop” sign if I’d see some cop in white around, Honking would be an “integral” part of my driving in a way that NO Honking = NO Fun, Overtaking would be to “show around” how cool I am, Speeding would help me with “Adrenaline rush”; and maintaining minimum safe distance between cars? Whoa! Was that even a thing? I didn’t know.

I’m 27 and driving since I’s 19. But why didn’t I know all this first hand? Did I never pay attention to traffic rules? Was I the only one oblivious? Answer is that I never took it all seriously, in fact there is a very famous saying about us Indians on global platform- “We Indians are always in a hurry but never on time”. How true, isn’t it? We Indians carry this “I don’t care, nothing will happen to me, I’m a good driver” attitude up our sleeve. Statistics say so too, according to sources- Delhi with a population of mere 20mn reported around 1.5mn cases of just 3 violations- Driving without helmet, Speeding and Driving without seatbelt. That’s 8% violating the traffic rules officiallyeach year. And let’s note that this figure doesn’t include unnoticed violators and those who negotiated with cops when caught and were never recorded. The figure will surge to around 30% if all is accounted for. And I don’t shy away from saying that I have zoomed past unnoticed and negotiated when caught numerous times myself, well who wants to pay that heavy sum right? We all are breaking rules, aren’t we? So why should just I pay? “Catch them alI first” I’d chant. We always have in the back of our minds the solution to escape a ticket. Well, that is the problem right there.

But we have been discussing this issue on big platforms, let’s discuss the solutions today: Suspending driving licenses? Tried that. Charging hefty sum for violation? Check. Imprisonment? Done. Confiscate driving license? That’s new. Any improvements yet? Marginal. Let’s face the root of this issue- Our attitude, I suggest we change that. They say there are 2 ways to change one’s habit: INCENTIVIZE and PENALIZE. And that’s my solution to this forum:

For record, we have a poor number of Traffic policemen to vehicles ratio in India, for instance in Aurangabad the ratio is 1:5000 and that to number of vehicles is 1:4000. Also, according to 6th Pay Commission, salary of a Constable falls under Pay Band 1 Police Constable Basic Pay with a median value of 2,50,000 INR p.a. including incentives.

  1. Incentivize:
  1. Hire more traffic policemen: Not permanently. Instead, introduce a Short Service Commission (SSC) scheme, like in Indian Army, where candidates are hired at lower ranks with an option to retire after 3-5 years and top 20% performers shall be “considered” for a better rank and permanent position later. We youth today look for respectable jobs, introducing one performance centric and contractual based employment is a shout out for many good applications. This also partly solves the unemployment problem of the youth.
  2. Introduce a new civil service vertical of “Traffic enforcers”: Pass on to them limited rights to enforce traffic law and order. Employ youth, under the same SSC scheme, again under shorter span of Service Commission, and on successful completion they shall be provided certificates of merit for consideration in similar or government jobs later.
Key point is to Instruct them to play honest (Incentivize** them) and be strict with traffic violators.
This solution will increase the visual presence of traffic enforcers on roads and induce sense of fear in probable violators.
** During their employment incentivize them, award them and recognize them based on: Total quality tickets made, quantity of tickets made, number of complaints against them, feedback from seniors etc.

But wait, where’d their salary come from? Am I suggesting another stream of cash outflow from our “well preserved” Federal & State treasury? We know that’s debatable and too much to ask for. Well, No, thanks to our Indians’ intrinsic habit of breaking the law, I have a better solution: Penalize.

  1. Penalize:
We Indians are brought up in a way to ignore traffic rules and in case caught we always know what to do, don’t we? Slip a green note in the pocket or call some body back home. My solution is to heavily penalize us vehicle owners on every small law we break. Even in this proposed well-designed law and order system with strong enforcement structure like suggested above, we’ll take at least 5 years to correct our habits. And if carried out honestly, this system will generate a new revenue stream, in form of tickets, that can be used straight to pay the traffic enforcers and constables employed on contract. And when we start getting used to this new system the number of tickets will start falling, say in 4-5 years, around the same time when SSC employees start retiring, thus rectifying the cost and revenue structure.

While writing I came across this news that a TL cricketer died while racing on a highway with his friend. This is a state of urgency and it’s not law but our habits we need to chage, this solution addresses just that.

BY- Bhavuk Pujara

Friday, 26 January 2018

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016 :- A Step towards better legislative framework for road safety in India.

Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016

Road accidents in India take more lives than natural disasters and diseases do and these figures are on the rise. 1.5 lakh people fall victim every year to India's killer roads. With these numbers on the rise, and an outdated existing law system to safeguard the stakeholders who use Indian roads, change is essential.

Enter Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill 2016. With the aim of addressing this problem, it is an attempt to create an exhaustive and comprehensive legislative framework for road safety in India. With a proposal of 68 amendments to 233 sections and the insertion of 28 new sections in the 1988 Motor Vehicles Act, the bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, in August 2016. 
It unleashes radical reforms in the transport sector by ensuring 100% e-governance, checking bogus driving licenses and vehicle thefts, slapping heavy penalty on traffic violators and protecting the good samaritan. It was approved by the Lok Sabha in April of this year.

The bill seeks to save lives by ushering in radical reforms in the motor vehicles law to slap heavy penalty on traffic violators, protecting good samaritans and making vehicle-makers responsible for design defects to cut road accidents.

The basic aim of the bill is to save human lives, as a whopping five lakh accidents take place every year claiming around 1.5 lakh lives across the country. The bill seeks to make services like issuance of license totally transparent and online and provides for punitive action against officials in case of delay in issuing of the document to eligible applicants. Under the new system, every one will have to go to the license issuing authorities under a uniform procedure and if the license is not issued , then the RTO will have to face action. A learner’s license can be availed online sitting at home.

96% believe that passage of the Bill would help meet the UN mandate to reduce road accidents up to 50 per cent by 2020, according to a survey conducted by Consumer Voice. 97% people feel the Bill should be supported by all the parties since it was important to bring down fatalities due to road accidents, currently the highest in the world at 1.5 lakh annually. As already mentioned, the Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha, and now Rajya Sabha needs to give it a nod. It will turn into law after the President's approval. Needless to say, it is a very necessary step towards road safety. Changes take time, and this one seems worth the wait. 

PS - For the curious ones, here are the main proposals of the Bill. 

1) It makes Aadhaar mandatory for getting a driving licence and vehicle registration. 

2) For deaths in hit-and-run cases, the government will provide a compensation of Rs 2 lakh or more to the victim's family. Currently, the amount is just Rs 25,000. 

3) In traffic violations by juveniles, the guardians or owner of the vehicle would be held responsibile unless they prove the offence was committed without their knowledge or they tried to prevent it. The registration of the motor vehicle in question will be cancelled. The juvenile will be tried under the Juvenile Justice Act. 

4) The bill has provision for protection of Good Samaritans. Those who come forward to help accident victims will be protected from civil or criminal liability. It will be optional for them to disclose their identity to the police or medical personnel. 

5) The minimum fine for drunk driving has been increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. 

6) The fine for rash driving has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000. 

7) Driving without a licence will attract a minimum fine of Rs 5,000 as against Rs 500 at present. 

8) The fine for over-speeding will go up from Rs 400 to Rs 1,000-2,000. 

9) Not wearing seatbelt would attract a fine of Rs 1,000 as against Rs 100 at present. 

10) Talking on a mobile phone while driving will attract a fine of Rs 5,000, up from Rs 1,000. 

11) A Motor Vehicle Accident Fund will provide compulsory insurance cover to all road users in India for certain types of accidents. 

12) It will be mandatory to alter vehicles to make them suitable for specially abled people. 

13) Contractors, consultants and civic agencies will be accountable for faulty design, construction or poor maintenance of roads leading to accidents. 

14) A time limit of six months has been specified for an application of compensation to the Claims Tribunal with regard to road accidents. 

15) The Bill removes the cap on liability for third-party insurance. The 2016 Bill had capped the maximum liability at Rs 10 lakh in case of death and Rs 5 lakh in case of grievous injury. 

16) The time limit for renewal of driving licence is increased from one month to one year before and after the expiry date. 

17) The government can recall vehicles whose components or engine do not meet the required standards. Manufacturers can be fined up to Rs 500 crore in case of sub-standard components or engine.

Pratyush Pandey
 IIT Delhi

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The day I realized the need to follow safe road practices (A blog by Winner 1 of Expressia)

The day I realized the need to follow safe road practices

It all happened too quick for me to even realize and construe. All I heard was a loud, deafening crash followed by screams for help and wailing cries of distress and pain. Then suddenly a slew of blurry images appeared before my eyes...they were arranged in a carousel like fashion and moved in front of my eyes. Each of these images, became clearer as they came nearer and nearer to my eyes.. And after seeing one of those brutally gruesome images, I realized that I had mowed down an entire family, right the middle of the road. There were people running across from all directions screaming and cursing at me, but I was too drunk to even comprehend what had happened. I knew there was no escape...they say that sometimes your life comes to a halt and it takes just one second to completely turn it around.. That was pretty much how I felt that night.......

Before I move forward, let me give you a little background...
Being the only daughter of two super conventional parents, I was always pretty reckless (Only outside of home, obviously). My parents were...umm... for the lack of a better word...super stuck up (I am sorry, euphemisms are not really my thing!) Yes, I know I sound mean but the truth remains the same. I was raised to believe that to touch alcohol is a sin. I was always asked to behave , talk and dress a certain way because I am a girl belonging to a very respected family. If I ever made a mistake, the instant reaction of my parents would be to cover it up rather than help me out of the situation, because they did not want the family name to be ruined. All this led me to do exactly the opposite of what I was told (discreetly , of course). At age 21, my biggest dream was to go to Bangalore and party at Skyye Bar. Because someone had told me that it was a place too hip and was situated on the sixteenth floor of UB city, from where you could spot Vijay Mallya’s helipad. These things will obviously fantasize the hell out of a 21 year old wannabe rebel-in-the-making hailing from a city where hanging out at Café coffee day was considered the coolest. But unfortunately enough, I had strict curfews while staying in my hometown, so the probability of getting myself to a bar in Bangalore was near to none. Hence, I decided to make the best of what I had. During my last semester, I got into drinking. I used to lie to my parents that I was held up because of project work and drink all day with my friends. And, since I was the only one with a car, I used to drop off all my friends unmindful of how drunk I was.

I still remember that day. It was one of my friend’s birthday and we had all decided to get some drinks and go for a drive. I, as usual, lied to my parents about going to college . But in reality, we were at least a hundred kms away from my college, having lost our way and hearts to the stunningly scenic roads en route the Ooty hills. Naturally, we were so enthralled with the place and to combine that with alcohol, we lost track of time. I did not realize until I saw my mum’s phone call. I started freaking out and checked the time. It was already 7 pm- one hour past my curfew. It was a miracle that my parents had called me an hour past my curfew time. I quickly got my friends to pack everything and revved up my engine and hurtled right towards the city.

Meanwhile my parents were frantically calling me. I couldn’t ignore their calls for that would only make matters worse. So I decided to pick the call. From the minute I picked up, I could only hear my mom screaming accompanied by my dad screaming behind her. They were not even willing to listen to me. I promised them that I would reach home in half an hour. There was no way in hell I was going to make home in time. My mum called me exactly 29 minutes since her last call. This time she yelled with twenty times the intensity.” You told me you were 5 kms away when I last spoke. There is no way you could be taking so much time! Do not lie to us...”and it continued. I was too hammered to talk sense. So you know what the precocious-drunk-me did? When you are a South Indian and your parents are mad at you, just throw some random, unrelated facts of science or math to show their money’s worth. It is just to reassure them of a good ROI and also to prove that you have not fully failed them. MOMMMM! Stop hyperventilating...Will you? I screamed.. Don’t do this math to me. Do you know the Heisenberg uncertainty principle? It says you cannot determine a particle’s velocity and position accurately at the same time, even theoretically. Did you listen to that Ma? Even theoretically ...You know in reality, factors like traffic, alcohol(I wanted to say but...) ,deranged drivers (Like me) are the reason for the delay. So will you please calm down and let me drive (Meanwhile I was already on a road rage)If set A was my dad being super mad and Set B was my mom being super mad, the probability of me getting screwed was P(AᴒB)=1, nothing less. I was getting super paranoid about going home that I did not even realize how crazy I was driving. There was a family of three in a scooter too close than I had anticipated. I almost knocked them down and the shock made the guy lose his balance. However he regained composure and started hysterically yelling and following me. I looked through my rear view and to my utter shock there were around ten people yelling at me to stop my car. I pressed my accelerator as much as I could...however one guy managed to get ahead of me and blocked my way by scooting right in front of my car. They all started yelling and cursing me and thankfully I had the sense to not open my mouth as I was drunk and that could have gotten me into a bigger mess. I faked an apology and got into my car cursing those “poor losers”. Finally I reached home two hours later. And as for my parents’ reaction...Lets not even get there. That night still gives me PTSD.

Fast forward to ten years and suddenly one night , I dream about that same family being mowed down by me. They say that dreams are an extension of your subconscious. I don’t know why or what made me dream about something that happened years ago and which, honestly speaking did not have much of an impact on me until that night. Probably it stayed in my subconscious all this while. Probably God decided to pardon me a little that night. And after all these years, He decided to take it all on once. Although it is the most horrifically vivid dream I have ever encountered , I thanked all my lucky stars that nothing of that sort actually happened. It is a wonder that I am not dead or in prison today, considering the number of times I have put myself and others’ lives in danger. However, I am happy that I have come a long way from what I used to be...And I am happier that this realization occurred naturally without the need for something horrific to have happened.
As an end note, I am sure that many young adults must have gone through or are still going through the same issues as I did. Not everybody might get as lucky as I got to be. An advice to all the parents and future parents- Forced abstinence is never the solution. Be a friend more than a parent to your children. Tell them it’s okay to drink and have fun provided they know where to draw the line. Teach them to call you or a cab whenever

they drink. Make them believe that their parents should be the first ones they should reach out to in case they get into any mess. Children make mistakes, your job as parents is not to stop them from making mistakes... rather it is to make them learn from their mistakes. And finally , teach them that ITS NEVER COOL TO DRINK AND DRIVE.

A Blog by Winner 1 of Expressia