Remembering Bhopal, and trying to forget

Lekhni, well-known blogger and contributor to DesiPundit, wrote this two years ago.

Twenty three years is a long time. For some people, it is the sum total of years they were single. For others, it is length of their entire career. For me, twenty three years is life after Bhopal.

The year, of course, was 1984. In later years, I would read George Orwell. 1984 would then acquire different meanings for me. But those were just fictional meanings. The reality was, 1984 was always just Bhopal.

I still remember the cold winter morning, foggy like any other. We lived in the suburbs of Bhopal, less than ten miles from the old city, where the Union Carbide factory was. Ten miles is not much of a distance. But on that night, it was enough to spare us.

As usual, my mother woke up at dawn to water the plants in the garden. She thought the hedges and the bougainvillea strangely smelt of Sevin (the insecticide that Union Carbide made), but dismissed the thought. Then the radio news announced that there had been a gas leak in Bhopal. No casualties were mentioned. We listened, but it was just another piece of impersonal news. We felt sorry for whoever was affected, wondered where it was, and went about our day. An hour later, my Dad left for work as usual.

Read on.

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