How Human is Human
Two, three weeks or there about on a sunny weekday, I found myself on the stretch between the expansive Zimmerman and Roysambu (the chics who hail from there pronounce Royal Suburb- especially when you tell you live on Ngong road. Don’t laugh though for this is a sad story). Familiar zones if you happen to love Nairobi. Okay what I do away from here partly involves ravaging through the Nairobi estates convincing guys to buy stuff and boy no one loves sales people but that’s a nice story for another day.
That stretch of the road was unusually busy. The one way traffic was building up as every Tom, Dick and Harry made haste downwards. From a distance, I could spot a mammoth crowd surrounding what looked like dark smoke cascading upwards in thick cloud. Motorcycle riders surrounded the outer horizon aboard their tools of trade. On and on I inched closer. The smell was nauseating. The environment smoky. Passengers’ service vehicles struggled to curve around the crowd and in between the building commotion hurrying to ferry people to the city- People on a mission to add value.
There I was, right in front of the source of the smoke that i had spotted from a distance. My mission privy was not to trace the source of the smoke but rather I was making my way to Zimmerman for just another sales agenda across this path that happened to be a torcher chamber for that day in particular. A man in his early thirties perhaps, all curled up; face bruised and bloody resting in between two burning used-car tyres. He struggled, Curled faintly, inched some moves but dint make a sound. He was indeed in pain. My heart skipped a mighty beat. It throbbed vigorously. I heard some concoctions in between the compartments that housed my chest. I was truly disturbed. I couldn’t stare longer. This might be a thief, I thought, speaking to an idle teenage onlooker beside the crowd who confirmed. “That man has been on target for a long time around this place,” he said in ghetto slung pointing at the consuming fire and continued “today he snatched a pouch from a lady and the boda boda operators made for him mobbing him up.” Concluded the boy as if he had been following every turn of events. “So bad for him!” I offered in exclamation.
In between from the rear view, a red lit noisy ambulance struggled for passage space to save a life. The place was Congested and impassable. The patient in the ambulance I bet was in a critical condition. Initially I had thought the siren signaled the arrival of the police purposed to dispel the crowd.
At the main scene, the victim burned, smoke flared, the crowd ballooned. Some just observed, some hissed in low tone conversations while a fair majority flapped their handsets taking still photos and video recordings of the roasting victim.
I swear I took longer than was necessary not as a partaker but rather my mind swirled into turmoil of thoughts. I feared especially at the fact that life as precious and sacred it is could be lost in just a dink of a second! I was scared at the agility of daring individuals to put a fellow human a blaze yet more stare through taking photos of the torture. That does not however mean that I will support mongrels who snatch stuff from people but how just human is Human?
There in the wild world of thoughts my mind lingered over the scenarios. First the burning victim. Then the patient in the Ambulance long gone. Yes, stealing is bad and against the sacred commandments of the holy book. This victim perhaps had a life away from theft. Most probably with a family, kids, a girl friend or wife to that matter who assumably dint understand how they put food on the table. To the girl friend or wife to say, they found this guy as the most caring, the most human, the most of a boyfriend or husband or whatever good words can describe him. Yet to the general public, here he was; a thief he was- burning his way to death. I pondered in particular of the lady who was the last client to the burning soul- from whom he had snatched a hand bag. Did she collapse in fear? Did she run away? Did she stand through to watch her perpetrator burn to ashes? Was she happy, remorse, or just mixed feelings? Did she feel hatred or a sense of victory? Better of all did she forgive him? What of the daring son of man who lit the match stick to put this thief a blaze? Okay how just courageous is he in life? Was the entire burn decision a one man show or a collective one?
Then my concern shifted to the patient a board the ambulance that happened to pass through the scene. Did he or she make it to hospital? Did they live on to continue enjoying life? Could they be in a state to recognize what was transpiring outside the ambulance compartment? What could have been their reaction if they happened to learn of the above scenario? What would they feel of the deeds and actions of that pervert? What of the mob decision? God grant the patient just more strength. Am sure they are good people. All those who got out of the way to help the patient as well. It’s an imagination that them, like the fair good majority earn a living from their sweat. So bless the good work of their hands.
Here is a disturbing scenario of two people. One who lives right but has fallen sick and everyone around struggles to make sure they survive another day by taking them to hospital and getting out of their way to preserve a life. On the contrary, there goes an energetic young man who chose to live by the arm, blind to the fact that this way of life was not a journey but a destination. It presented him with only forty days to live. Here he was, meeting death on a day he had just left the house with a promise to bring in some hunt perhaps!