When I was a child,
My mother’s soft fingers would tug my hands tightly.
As she walked me to and fro the road to the school,
She would never forget to say- look left, look right and left again,
I would act naughty and would never bother to ask her why,
But she always smiled and said the same everyday,
The road is a vibrant place, it buzzes with life and action.
We got to play safely here, it can be a dangerous place if one lost on traction.
Remember to never jaywalk and speed-run on the road,
Be careful, follow your rules and think for others always,
Because you and I ought to be responsible pedestrians!
So clear and precise, the words would fall like a jingle to the ears,
Careless me, I regret now why I just let them fly!
When I grew taller than Mum and inched closer to Dad’s height,
I thought I was big enough to control the wheels,
Dad politely declined and said learn the rules of the art dear,
It takes time and patience to learn these things. Take the time!
There is a year to go before you have a driving license of yours,
With a serious responsibility, it is a play of alertness and consciousness,
I ignored and thought it was too easy,
Simple chants – ‘Drive Safe, Drive Slow, Drive with seat belts, Drive without Alcohol, Drive in Control.’
The vanity in me took over and I said ‘Oh! I know it all’
Let the year pass and I shall rock and roll without a fall.
My father reiterated- Prepare and prevent my son, don’t ignore and repent,
You and I ought to be aware and conscious drivers!
Wish I had understood more than what the words meant!
When today I limp here and there in the caged hole,
Repenting and crying over my actions,
The past comes flashing; shiny and bright,
My job, my house, the first car, my proud parents, my marriage, my wife, my baby girl,
The beautiful world of love and care,
Until I shattered it all,
It wasn’t carelessness or ignorance of the day but my habit,
A few drinks were more important to me than my parent’s words,
Over speeding gave me more thrill than my baby’s laughter,
Indifference about road rules was my favorite as I often ignored my wife’s concerns,
She always said- ‘Be Alert, Don’t Drink, Watch for others, Wear your Seat belt, Don’t Pick Calls,
Baby, you ought to be a cautious driver!
To my deaf ears and impatient attitude, the road etiquettes dint matter, Poor me!
And one day, the good, holy people of my life were gone forever,
Now, there was none to tell me what to do and what not,
The irresponsible driver in me shortened their lifelines,
Over confident me, I lost my control and attention,
I breathe every moment with bitter realities, I could have averted it,
Was it the high beam or my speed, the rage or my carefree and careless attitude?
Yes, it was all of it and my attitude.
I mercilessly rammed them all in a truck,
The headlines read,’ The deadly car crash’ but it was more.
I touch my scars and nothing matches the pain of my heart,
Of my baby who chose not to say Papa ever again,
The cries of my dying wife and my parents haven’t ceased to haunt me,
My non-seriousness did the irreversible damage,
‘I’ couldn’t be the one but I wish for all,
You ought to be a Responsible Driver!
My message through this poem is that recklessness can be fatal and need of the hour is to sensitize people to the cause. The poem talks about a story of a boy who is educated on safe road habits, advised wisely, warned timely but he doesn’t realize its importance until he repents for it. I wish to reaffirm the fact that until we consciously realize and amend our ways, no rules can make us do. The change has to come in our behavior, in our attitude. Its important to feel sensitive to the pain that our little ignorances can cause to us and people around us.
I dedicate this poem to Nissan Safety Driving Forum who have been promoting the cause of road safety by campaigning across major cities! One mis-action, one ignorance, one habit can be extremely fatal. On the road, we have a responsibility towards everyone who is sharing the space with us. Safety rules should not to be compromised at any cost. Laws of Strict Penalty and fines should definitely be adopted in the government policies but the real change will come if each one of us chooses to behave responsibly and keeps reminding others too– ‘You and I ought to be a responsible driver’
Read here Nissan Safety Driving Forum