Thursday, 15 October 2009

A Quarter Century Later

Twenty Five years ago, the world changed for people of Bhopal. Million, trillion, gazillion words, memories, tears later, Bhopal is still attempting to recover from the worst chemical disaster recorded in human history.

I have evaded Bhopal till now - avoided reading more than the inescapable, feeling more than absolutely necessary, and reacting - not at all. Bhopal has been an unbearable reality that I preferred not to wake up to - for all these long twenty five years.

Next week I go to Bhopal - I go with my heart in a cracked crucible, my mind preparing excuses, my feet running fast and away - far away from Bhopal. Yet, I go to Bhopal, because I must - I need to confront Bhopal, bear the pain it will inflict, grow and forever be changed - I need to put myself through the fire that is Bhopal, burn in it, metamorphose to one that will no longer be a mute witness to other Bhopals that are being planned, dragged to alters of development and progress, blindfolded, lips taped, limbs tied; I will no longer avoid gaze, even in photographs, of children blind, deformed, born after the disaster; I will finally wipe clean the guilty haze that clouded my vision, free myself of personal shame that stopped me from ringing out a clear call to wake everyone " We will not let this happen again!"

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