After watching US Open Tennis Championship matches on 1st September, we proceeded to Montreal, Canada by road. The drive from outskirts of New York to Montreal took about 8 hours with usual lunch and snack break every two hours.
Among the many tourist spots worth visiting in Montreal is the Mount Royal Park and the Beaver lake atop the hill. The city of Montreal gets its name from the Mount Royal, which is actually a hill but called as Mount Royal probably because there are no mountains around. There is a small lake atop the hill called Beaver Lake. I may dwell on Montreal, its tourist spots and history separately for there are many. However, one unfortunate news received today reminds me of an incident that happened on the rest area near Beaver Lake on Mount Royal on the afternoon of 3rd September.
After reaching Beaver lake we were looking for a place to sit and relax as we were tired with the rounds of sight seeing since morning. In the rest area near the lake, around a table with four chairs, one person was sitting alone. As all other chairs nearby were occupied I asked him whether we could sit there. He welcomed me to sit and started talking about the fine weather that day. I concurred with him and he suddenly said " Look, it is such a fine day and there are many fine things to see like Beaver Lake. I do not know why young and precious lives are lost for silly reasons". I did not understand the reason for such a comment all of a sudden. He saw the expression on my face and himself voluntarily explained the reasons for his statement.
He was a Doctor by profession, an Orthopaedic Surgeon. He said that the last three days were very hectic and painful for him. Being an Orthopaedic surgeon pain and suffering was not new to him. Everyday he would get some case for treatment of fracture or attending to accident victims. Previous day he had received an emergency call to treat a young girl involved in an accident case. The girl was going on her bicycle when a speeding car hit her. She was brought with broken ribs and fractured leg and an emergency operation was made. She was still critical in the morning. "She may pull through and come out alive but will have to carry the aftereffects of the tragic accident for the rest of her life. I was myself upset and came out here to spend some time with nature to forget the same", he said.
He mentioned about the number of cases that come to the Hospital for silly reasons. Like two close friends who stabbed each other quarreling over some girl. Like two brothers who beat each other with baseball bats over some silly issue. "I am fed up with such cases. People do not realise the importance of life. There is nothing more valuable in this world than life itself. I have decided to quit this profession and go back to Portugal, my native land and live atop some hill away from all this suffering. I am waiting for my little girl playing there to reach schooling age. After that it is a quiet life for me", he said. I told him that the society can not lose the services of a skilled surgeon like him. "Oh, you have a point there, but I do not want it as a regular job. I may be reachable over phone and could attend some emergencies", he said. May be next morning he may decide to continue his service to the society.
Former Indian cricket captain and Member of Parliament Mohamed Azharuddin's son Ayazuddin expired today. He was involved in a motorcycle accident in Hyderabad on Sunday early morning.
Mohamed Ayazudddin was only 19 years old. He was a budding cricketer and those who saw him play for Under-19 team say he had the gift of timing and grace his father had. His father and mother were divorced. Father had got him a new motorcycle for Rs. 21 lacs only weeks earlier, as a Ramzan gift. Ayazuddin was returning from Hyderabad airport with his cousin Ajmal-ur-Rehman (son of Mohd. Azharuddin's sister) when the accident happened. Ajmal died on arrival in hospital. Ayazuddin's father was in London and mother was in Dubai. Both rushed to Hyderabad. Ayazuddin battled for life for five days and despite best medical care succumbed to the injuries.
Over speeding was said to be the reason for the accident. It is not known whether they were wearing helmets. Two precious lives are lost.
Could it have been avoided?
I remember the words of the Doctor I met at Beaver lake in Montreal. Life is worth a lot more than anything else. Those who suffer irreparable losses know this better, but many times it is too late to learn the lessons.