A Bridge on the River
I am a long bridge on the River Yamuna in the town of Delhi. I think, in this town of Delhi, I am the oldest bridge, longest and most serviceable.
I do not really know when I was constructed but, sure enough it was a very long time back when I was made. In the 20th century when the British ruled over India, I was brought to life and, till today, I stand in the service of the people of India. I am still strong and firm unlike many of the bridges made much after me. I think that, the quality of the work put in, in my construction has been absolutely superb as, I have been here for about a century, and still going strong. What more can anyone expect friends, from an inanimate object like me?
For me, life has always been very busy and full of thrill and excitement. Even in this long span of my life, I have never ever got bored. This is because for full twenty-four hours and all the three-sixty-five days of the year, I have the honour of man’s company. I have people travelling on me all the time, so, where is the time for me to be lonely and get bored.
I am not only a bridge across a river, but, my importance in the life of Delhites is very great. I serve as the nerve centre of commuting for people who travel from one end of the town to the other. I thus serve as a connecting link between two ends of the town of Delhi. This is exactly why there is so much traffic on me. I serve all types of communication. I stand in a two tier structure. On the top tier there are railway tracks laid on my body. Some of the trains coming from the eastern part of India cross over me. The second tier, below the train track is a level road on the bridge length. This serves as a road to cross to the other side of the town. I cater to all kinds of vehicular traffic. There are scooters, buses, cars and trucks all moving on me. Then in the slower modes of transport, there are rickshaws, tongas and cycles moving on me. Thus, I serve a complete cross section of people for commuting. The road on me is a good concrete road which allows traffic to pass without any hurdles. I am also nice to look at, and I stand committed to serve Delhi inhabitants for, as long as I live.
My life has been a wonderful experience, and the routine very busy and interesting. All the time, yes, all the time there is traffic on my second tier, with vehicles passing through unabated. I think, every two hours there is a train passing on the first/ top tier. Thousands and thousands of people are crossing over my back every day and all the time. Though it is a strain to remain alert and awake for all twenty four hours of every day, I find it all very interesting too. However, in this long span of my life I have personally witnessed some horrible tragedies too. This place, this venue has very often been used as a platform, a convenient place for committing suicides’ and even murders. Many times people come and stand on the brink of the lower tier and, just jump off the railings in a bid to commit suicide. I stand a mute spectator to the tragedy, restless, but unable to do anything. Such events have been quite a lot in number but, one incident of this type I can never forget. I remember it was near midnight and a train was passing from my back. Just as it was about midway on the bridge, there was a loud thud in the water of the river. What I saw was a lady all decked up and dressed in a bright red saree and wearing jewels, flung out of the train. I think she was a(newly married bride, probably going for her honeymoon or may be she was coming back from it. The sight brought tears even in my eyes and, I wondered how cruel human beings can become. What could I do? Though my heart wept but I stood and watched the scene, gazing absolutely dumb founded. I could hear for a long time the loud and shrill shrieks of the girl and in a few moments the shrieks ceased and it was obvious that the bride had been swallowed by the turbulent water and that was the end of the girl. This incident has left an indelible mark on my ageing mind, and, at times I do wonder what brutes men can become. How can anyone have pushed that sweet young girl and that also a new bride into that angry water, is beyond my understanding.
My life as I told you is very interesting and exciting but, when I serve as a platform for human evil and human destruction, I feel rather dejected and unhappy. Thank God such horrendous incidents are not too common but they do leave a bad taste in my mouth, and my feelings become inexplicable. They leave a permanent imprint on my mature mind. I am though old I am still going strong and I shall remain so for the service of humanity if I get the necessary care and love of the authorities’ incharge of looking after me.