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Why bother? Someone else will take care of it…: By Kalpana Aroda

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Last year.. but really not so long ago, just a month back.. we spent a glorious weekend with friends in Angels Camp  and then decided to surprise mom and dad and went straight to LA from Angels Camp to spend a holiday week with them.  By the time we reached LA, it was late in the night, when we rang the bell my husband’s mom came to the door and peeked through the glass window to see who came at such a late hour to visit them.  When she saw us on the door, she could not believe her eyes, she opened the door and hugged us and first thing she asked is don’t you have key to the home?  Anyways we had planned to spend our New Years eve with them and our plans were going well.  We were having a good family time, making puzzles, going shopping, exploring tennis court, small trails that go around the house where my husband grew.   On one of the afternoons, there was a family gathering and I got to meet a lot of uncles and Aunties and their kids and grand kids and we had a gala time eating Indian food (puri,  chhole, dhoklas, Raita etc) and doing art work with kids…  One of the Aunties found out about our plan to drive back home on Jan 1st.  They were thinking of visiting some of their relatives in Fresno which would have been kind of in our way if we took a different route coming back home. So we offered them a ride.  So on January 1st we started to drive back home with car full of loads of things packed for us to bring back home from  mom and dad and we had Uncle and Aunty with us for first four hours of our journey.  We were having a gala time talking about how they used to meet when kids were young to all the recent travels they did and we were comparing notes on what all we have seen etc.   The ride home was going smooth until we suddenly saw traffic slowing down.  Our GPS had not given any warning and we were kind of surprised and were anticipating an accident.  So here we were now at a speed of 10 miles/hour from 65 miles/hour.  As we were chugging around, to our biggest surprise we witnessed the reason for the slowdown which I had never seen before.  On the right side of the freeway over the shoulder, we spotted a man pushing car backwards and hitting the windshield and side windows frantically.  He looked so mad; every car was slowing down and observing this on that four lane freeway.  All five of us in our car were just at a loss for words and could not believe that we were seeing something like this on the side of a freeway.  After a few seconds when we could speak, all of just started saying to each other, what was going on?  Did you see how that woman inside the car?  The guy has damaged the car already; we hope the woman is safe.  And then one of us and I don’t remember which one said I hope someone called 911.  To that all of us just agreed, someone would definitely have called, so many people are observing this.   The traffic slow down was gone and our car picked up the speed again.  After a few minutes another comment came inside our car, what if no one called?   Ladies sitting in the behind seat said, let’s just call 911 ourselves and ask if someone has complained about what we saw?  Uncle sitting in the front seat called 911 and explained our location where we saw the scene and asked did anyone call for this?  To our surprise he got the answer that no one did so far.  After uncle finished his conversation, we all felt such a relief that we made this call.  We may have helped someone that day.

The truth is we did not know what was going on between that man and the woman, we did not have any idea who was at fault, but what we saw during our 30 second view of the scene was that there was a woman who had locked herself in the car, a man was pushing the car and banging on the car front mirror and side windows and it looked intense.   Our assumption of someone else would help was invalid.  It left me thinking, how often we like to believe someone else will take care of the situation while no one is really taking care of it..

– Kalpana Aroda

7 Responses so far.

  1. Khushboo says:

    Hello Guys ,
    This website and cause behind it is really amazing . Went through all the stories which though seem simple things in life but gives a lot to ponder upon.
    Amazing work !!!
    – munmun

  2. Naveen says:

    This is known as bystander effect – check out here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect.

    Case of Kitty Genovese is often sited as bystander effect – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese

  3. Naveen says:

    Nice job in taking the responsibility on to yourself and calling 911.

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