• The Write Connection

Mischief on Public Transport


As I entered the train to my home on a hot Friday afternoon, I was happy to see an empty seat near the door and I plonked myself onto it immediately. I was glad that my exams were finally over. The MRT was relatively empty and I was thankful for the much-awaited peace and serenity after a hectic and exhausting week. The placid and cool breeze from the air conditioner caressed my face and my weary body was half lulled to slumber. The weekend had already begun for me.

Sleep was beckoning, but a loud and hyperactive boy next to me was in a playful mood. He was blissfully ignorant of my drained physical and mental state. The boy was constantly swinging on the poles and bars of the MRT, and merrily singing “Gangnam Style.” To make matters worse, his mother was deeply engrossed in surfing the Internet on her iPad, completely oblivious to the nuisance that her son was causing to the other fellow passengers. Although I was terribly upset and frustrated, I was constrained by my social sense to react to the situation.

Suddenly, the MRT came to a jarring halt, and the boy, losing his grip, collided with the pole and then fainted. I heard an ear-piercing shriek and was aghast to see that the unfortunate boy who had smashed his cheek on one of the cold metal poles. His body seemed to be as limp and lifeless as a rag doll, while a pool of crimson blood stained his blonde hair. The young boy was barely conscious. He was whimpering softly and groaning in pain. Oblivious to this accident, the MRT continued its journey to the next destination.

A panic-stricken woman, who seemed to be the young boy’s mother, wailed pitifully. She knelt beside her pale son and frantically screamed for help. I looked around the compartment and pressed the emergency alarm with all my might, as this would raise the alarm. Fortunately, the alarm bell reached the driver. After I communicated what had happened to the driver, he stopped the train at the next station. The driver came rushing to assist the boy with a first aid kit, and I too gave him a helping hand.

One of the commuters, a trained medical professional, diagnosed that the boy had suffered broken bones and his forehead was swollen grotesquely due to internal bleeding. While the medical professional was attending to the boy, another fellow commuter called the ambulance. It was not long before the paramedics had taken charge and the boy was transported to St. John’s Hospital. His father too had arrived by then and his mother was looking far more composed and in control now.

When the ambulance left the scene, the MRT started moving again and resumed the journey. The MRT regained its calmness. Apart from the bloodstains on the floor, it seemed as though nothing had happened. I prayed to God for no further excitement for the week. All that I wanted was a peaceful, relaxing and restful weekend.