One of my friends is a Delhi boy. I'll call him Vinay. He's moved base to Bangalore now, which is how we became friends, but he grew up there and still has a lot of friends there. A couple of weeks ago, Vinay was telling me about a party he attended in Delhi. Besides being someone's birthday, it was also a reunion of sorts; old school friends who hadn't seen each other for a while. They had a blast that night, drinking, talking, reliving old escapades till the wee hours of the morning. The party finally came to an end; they said goodbyes and headed home.
Vinay's friend Sagar never made it that far. He drove straight into a wall, at more than 80 km/hr. The front portion of the car was crushed, the engine pushed into the front two seats, nearly cutting Sagar in half. I wish I could tell you that he had a miraculous escape, one of those freak occurences you hear about on the news. I wish I could tell you that there was a guardian angel looking out for him that day, that he had a close call and learned a valuable lesson. But unfortunately, this story does not have a happy ending. Sagar spent his last few minutes in excruciating pain, bleeding to death in a wrecked car, on the side of the road at the age of 27.
Shaken? Now, imagine, if that was your friend. You'd probably be even more shaken. But let me ask you something; what if an incident like this happened for the second time? What if this was the second time a friend of yours had too much drink, had gotten into his car and driven off and had crashed and died? I ask this because that's the situation my friend Vinay is in. He's lost two close friends in the same way; they had too much to drink, they thought they could drive okay, they crashed their cars and they both died.
The blame always falls on the person who was driving. He was drunk, he had no business of driving a car. It's his fault. He thought he'd be okay, he thought he could handle the car. He was drunk, what did he know death would come calling. But what about your responsibility as a friend? Wouldn't you step in and try to save your friend if you knew he might die? Or to hell with responsibility, what about your own selfish desire not to lose a friend? Wouldn't you save his life then? So that you don't have to suffer the loss of someone close to you?
When someone is drunk, their judgement is impaired. They think they'll manage, because they have done it before. "It's cool, don't worry about it. I'll be fine." The fact is, no one's ever going to say that they are too drunk and they shouldn't drive. No, that's something a person's friends have to say. That's something you're going to have to say one day, if you don't want to look back and say that you could have saved a friend's life, if only you'd tried. I hope you never have to feel what it's like to lose someone this way. And if you must... I do hope you never feel it again.