Grieving kin blame themselves for not raising questions

As they gathered on Friday evening to pay condolence to R Subhasri, who met with an unfortunate end on Thursday after being run over by a water tanker when she fell from her two-wheeler, the dozens of youngsters – her friends, college mates and colleagues – could not stop blaming themselves for not raising questions about banners erected on busy roads illegally.
Grieving kin blame themselves for not raising questions

Chennai

“We are so used to seeing so many illegalities around us but we do not question the authorities. I, too, travel through that stretch in Pallikaranai, I have noticed such banners in various parts of the city. But I never knew that our negligence as citizens would lead to the loss of life of our very own friend,” said Siri Keerthana, Subhasri’s college mate and the president of Pretty Lil Hearts, an organisation that held a candlelight session to pay tribute to the 23-year-old at Tambaram on Friday.

Keerthana knows they do not have the power to blame the authorities, including the government. But that does not take away from the feeling of guilt. “We feel we failed to act on something we knew was illegal, and should have given it a deeper thought,” added Keerthana.

At Bhavani Nagar 3rd Street in Chromepet, Subhasri’s teal-coloured was engulfed by a stifling silence on Friday. The only daughter of Ravi and Geetha, Subhasri was a confident girl right from school days, said friends who gathered there.

“She always had an interest in learning new things. She was an active participant in school activities, and used to talk about her plans for higher studies,” said R Williams, a schoolmate at Zion Matriculation Higher Secondary School.

Eyewitnesses said they were unable to come out of the shock. Rajalakshmi A, a college student, was travelling from Velachery to Pallikaranai when she noticed the roads were lined with banners and posters welcoming the Ministers. Just 300 metres away from the marriage hall on the stretch, there was a huge traffic block. She initially thought it was a minor accident. That was when she spotted a young woman covered in blood lying next to a tanker lorry.

“What was even more shocking was that one of the banners had fell on her and she died because of that. I was horrified by the whole incident. I am still unable to get out of that,” Rajalakshmi narrated.

Her colleagues from the IT company where Subhasri worked recalled her as a fun-loving person. She was multi-talented, also working as a Zumba trainer in Chromepet. Kala, one of the trainers there, remembered her as a person who used to interact with everyone at the gym. “I cannot believe she is no more. She was so nice to me every time we met,” Kala added.

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