I crossed only once..!

1829

ONE day while sitting on the platform bench at a station, I saw the railways had put up a signboard picturing two ghosts talking to each other, with one saying in bold letters, “I crossed only once!” Once was enough wasn’t it, for human life to take ghostly form? Yet thousands of lives are lost every year on railway tracks, lives that are cut short by iron wheels who respect no one, but ruthlessly cut into ribbons all who cross their path. Come with me to the homes of a few who’ve gone this way:
“He was a clever, intelligent boy, we had high hopes for him, he was the darling of this house and used to tell me ma, when I finish my CA we will shift into a real flat in a pucca building, now we’re even worse off and on the streets. Why did he do it? Why did he leave us like this? Couldn’t he have thought of us when he crossed the tracks that day?” Let’s move to a house where a father of two has lost his life:
“Daddy!” cries his once little girl, “Why did you leave us daddy? Without you the boys outside tease me, taunt me, flirt with me, they wouldn’t have dared if you’d been around. I’ve had to leave college, find a job, my future is gone, we’ve had to change the schools of both Reena and Geeta and put them in municipal schools because we could not afford the fees. Why daddy? Why? Couldn’t you have thought of us that day when you crossed the road looking at your phone instead of at the traffic?”
And here to a home where the darling of the house, a young girl was run over: “There’s no more joy in our lives!
It’s been three years since Preeti died and my husband has stopped smiling ever since. I force myself to eat and do so only for my other children, but a darkness has come into this house, and nothing will lift that gloom, nothing!
Why couldn’t that child have thought of us when she sat as a pillion without a helmet? She killed not only herself but us also. Why was she so selfish?”
Selfish! Yes, that’s the word that describes you and me when we jump from platform onto those deathly tracks, or cross a busy road or any of the numerous ways where we can lose our lives. And that act of selfishness, destroys not just one life, yours, but all others in your family. Is it worth it? Yes, you dad, yes you ma, yes you loving daughter, and you, ambitious son? Is it right on your part to destroy the lives of your loved ones with one selfish act? I crossed only once..!

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