Almost two weeks have passed but the street scene that I saw keeps disturbing me on and off. On the evening of 13th August, while returning from my dentist I stopped at a wine shop in Chennai to pick up a bottle. And there was this young man lying on the pavement near the steps of the outlet. People passed by avoiding him, not bothering one bit.
The youngster appeared to be around 25 years old. He was darkish, and surprisingly handsome. Chiseled features, well combed hair. Even the few days’ growth of beard looked well groomed. His clothes were not too dirty. He certainly was not the usual habitually drunken type.
The lad was blissfully asleep. It did not seem like a drunken stupor. There was a peaceful look on his face, as though he was having a pleasant dream. But certainly he would have consumed a large quantity of alcohol to be in that condition. Perhaps something else too, along with liquor.
What made him do that? A fight with parents? Somehow I felt that he was not married. Sudden loss of job? May be a broken love affair? Possibly he was dreaming of the girl involved. Was she beautiful? To him, she would have been, I suppose.
Whatever the problem was, it would still be there when he woke up, surely with a colossal hangover. Troubles that people face do not just go away. They have to be tackled, sorted out. Hopefully the youngster would have realized that when he became sober and pulled his life together again.
I watched him for a long time, wondering whether I should do something. I could have taken him to a hospital or contacted the police to handle the matter. May be there are social welfare organizations that would take care of cases like these but I was not aware of any.
I did nothing. Just went home.
Whenever I think of the incident, I feel a sense of guilt.
Should I have helped the boy? What do you think?