I saw a man dieing this evening. He was sprawled by the side of the tarred road right in front of my used car
sales spot. I did not know how he came to be dieing, but I saw two motor-bikes lieing on the ground by the road
side. Two motorcycles, two riders, but no motorcycle helmet in sight. It seemed they had collided. I really cannot say. I had driven the last of my cars to my house for the night
and I only happened to be out there because I brought out my salesman. Another man, who is likely to be the second
rider was not too badly wounded. He was trying to revive himself by doing some press-ups.
People quickly gathered round the dieing man but none offered a helping hand. I shone my head lamp at the victim
for them to see him well but still they just stood staring. I shoo-ed them off from him if they would not help.
The man had no motor-bike helmet on. Recently the government had legislated that every rider on a bike should put on a
motorcycle helmet. This one sadly will pay with his life for flouting that law.
A private hospital stood nearby, and a Local Government Health Centre nearly opposite the accident spot. But I know that none of
them could help the dieing man. They are not just equipped to give that level of health care. A shame for this
country's health-care program.
'Get some water to pour on him' I shouted but they said 'No'.
Why, I don't know. Perhaps, it has to do with how you treat people in shock.
'Well, don't just stand around watching him die, move him to the hospital' I said, frustrated.
'You give us your car to take him to the hospital' one of the on-lookers challenged me.
'But the hospital is only a walk away!' I said.
And I imagined blood from the man's cracked skull staining all over the back seat of the car, for it would be
callous to want to move him in the car booth. It is not even my car, in that sense, to use as I pleased. It is a
merchandise that somebody will eventually buy.
Seeing I was not getting through to them, I said this to no one in particular
'Well, suit yourself, do nothing, stand around and watch him die. If your time ever comes, people will stand and
watch you die the same way too'. And I drove away back to my home.
As I drove home I began to wonder at what I had just witnessed. Was it merely crowd mentality or something more
disturbing. In a crowd someone expects someone else to do something, and if no one takes the initiative they'll
all just be there till the man breathes his last. And then they'll begin to walk away one by one muttering to
themselves how unfortunate it had been that the man died. The people were just there, old and young, women and
men, no one willing to lift a hand. No one called any expert help. I must say that this thought did not occured to
me too while there. Not that there was any nearby. The man seemed to need an immediate intervention as there was
no time. There are really much that we are deficient in here.
This night marks the end of the Moslem annual Rahmadan 40-day fast. I am thinking that here in my environment,
when something really, really does not make sense there probably is something else to it. I wondered if the
accident was not pre-programmed by dark powers. Maybe the dieing man is a 'sacrificial meat' determined by the
unseen hands of diabolical powers. Maybe the people crowding him and yet would not lift a hand to help him live
were there to absorb his aura as it parts from him. Think me nuts, but things have been known to happen which you
can't even imagine.
I came home sulking at not being able to help. After I demobilized the cars I sat in the open ground near my
concrete fish pond under construction. I looked up at the sky and it was cloudy and dark all over. Then I had this
seemingly silly idea that if I could just spot a star in the night sky, just a lone star, that it would be an omen
that the dieing man would live. I pleaded with God. Then I looked and saw none. I checked again turning my head
around to really see, just one distant star, but it was gloomy in the skies. After a while I figured I should
really see if God would make a bargain with me and grant me this man's life by showing me just one star, but there are no stars out this night.