Thane: Traffic on Teen Hath Naka momentarily came to a standstill on Friday morning as people were unnerved by the sight of a ‘headless man’ dressed in a blazer and holding a ‘severed’ head in his hand, meandering among vehicles. The pranksters were none other than the Thane traffic police: As part of their helmet awareness drive, the men in khaki had organised the stunt.
A midget was made to walk around all dressed up with his head concealed behind a tie buff. What added to the grotesque effect was the severed head of a mannequin that the headless stranger had in his clasp. As motorists stopped to look at the ‘human mannequin,’ some were left wondering whether it was indeed the right thing to do. Some of them could easily have lost their nerve and rammed their vehicle into pedestrians or an oncoming vehicle.
The ‘hero’ of the day was Atul – the man disguised as the headless man. In the scorching heat, and under a shirt and blazer, Atul negotiated the road with the help of a stick and traffic constables in tow. He said, “Earlier, I would never wear a helmet since I loved to flaunt my hair. But after I met with an accident, I realised that fashion does not make you a man, only safety does.” Vilas Patil, a motorcyclist riding without a helmet, said, “I forgot to wear my helmet; I agree it is a good way to remind us to value our own life.”
One rider on a shiny new Royal Enfield, with a marigold garland around the steering, went to the nearest shop to purchase a helmet. Another rider with a small flag displaying Chhattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, on being caught, was unfazed. Dripping with attitude, he said: “The great king is with us.