Saturday, March 21, 2009

An Air-Indian tragedy

In the early 1960's, when I was around 7 or 8, Juhu was a fragrant and distant suburb of Bombay and one occasionally undertook the long ride there with the family to spend Sunday on the beach (today it is no longer distant by the standards of Bombay suburbs, and the fragrance is not exactly a pleasant one!). To get to the beach one took a left turn off the main road, and on that corner was a small park where children could play. The highlight of the park was a cement replica of an Air India Boeing 707. In those days when real aeroplanes were rather inaccessible, I would greatly enjoy scrambling up the crude cement steps into this smelly cement structure and constructing a fantasy aeroplane ride in my mind. Ah the simple joys of life... Both the park and the Air India plane are still there, and in recent years I've experienced intense nostalgia every time I passed by.

Alas, an engine of this cement aircraft fell off yesterday and killed an 8-year-old boy, Pravin, who was playing there.

When I heard this I felt intense sadness for a family I will never know. And rage at the kind of people who don't bother about safety standards in a public children's park (it was maintained by the Raheja Foundation -- if they were too cheap to fix it themselves, couldn't they have at least persuaded Air India to renovate that plane?). Newspaper reports suggest the police are busy trying to blame the boy's family for the accident instead. Poor Pravin, he had the bad luck to be in my place at another time.


Shushma said...

So sad. As a mother it is haunting to know such a thing can happen. Perhaps there are other such structures that are unsafe for children and action will bring some safety. Thanking you for bringing this to the public and maybe more Professors will join your movement against this type of neglect.

Meta Dynamic Systems said...

Congrats on the Century! Way to Go!! Actually I am jealous!!!

Some of the phrases that occurred on reading the blogs: Good, Bad, Ugly, Outrageous, wow, just not right, how can that be a perspective, Complete nahin hua, Wish I had thought of it,... Nevertheless, read all and look forward to what follows.

I, however, am sure that beauties will emerge both in quality and quantity.

Anil said...

Truly life in India is cheap. And of course no one will be prosecuted for negligence....