Last week as I was going about my after dinner cleaning, there was breaking news on Television. A father had forgotten his infant in the car seat and after seven hours the baby was found dead. The police did not arrest the individual. Instead he was taken to a psychiatrist. Most of the people were feeling sad and pity than accuse him for a gruesome act of ignorance. I guess people understood that he had been punished enough for his act of carelessness.
I did understand it because I knew first hand the pressures of the corporate world. I see under what pressure “S” juggles his work, MBA course and sharing the house chores with me. And we have already had a discussion on starting a family. With both of us being students, taking care of the house and then his office itself is a difficult chore. And the last week for “S” has been especially hectic. His boss had some personal work and so took leave for three day. I was very upset because that meant added work load for “S”. I was not much of help at home either. With my thesis deadline I did ask him to do much more than what is his share of work at home. I know he is under pressure.
Generally, as soon as “S” reaches his office he calls me. It is never a long call. But this time “S” had news. The infant who had died in the car last week was his boss’s nephew. That was the reason he had taken leave from office. This was closer than both of us had anticipated. When I had told “S” about the news earlier he has passed it with no comments. What could he say to a wife who gets bothered with every little thing? But this had hit closer to home. “S” and his boss are friends. The family is distorted and “S” is visibly shaken.
Similarly, last year one of “S” colleague’s went through tragic circumstances when he lost his young sister in a tragic accident. We read about the incident on a Bengali online news page, and indifferently commented on it as we went about our chores and the weekend. On Monday morning “S” called to inform that one of the victims was the sister of his colleague who had already left for Kolkata. In the coming days we saw his picture on the news. When he got back from India, “S” never asked him anything. His disoriented self was enough to understand his condition; he told me when i insisted on knowing.
How does life hit you in such vulnerable position, when you least expect it? A father who was about to leave his son in daycare forgets and goes straight for his office leaving the baby strapped in the car-seat in the SUV. A young brash group of students ignored the warnings of the flash flood but could not defy the fatal misadventure.
Who suffers the consequences, the deceased or the family that is left behind?
Initially, my first reaction was always to look at whose fault is it? But now I am wiser. I know that there is no point in fault finding. Instead we must learn the lesson that life wants us to learn. Be careful. Do not make rash decisions and do not let any of your emotions take control of your logics in such a way that it imbalances your capabilities.
Had the father not been so over-focused on his job at his office he would not have forgotten his responsibility towards his baby boy in the backseat.
Had the students been cautious instead reckless in their youth, they would have been there to make more adventure trips.