I’m Not A Bhopali Just Yet

Manjul Bajaj

Today I woke up to a strange conundrum
Am I a Bhopali or am I not
It takes a few seconds to say I am one
on a Facebook page
And it costs nothing
But I can’t bring myself to –
at least not yet
I know Facebook is good and Twitter is better
To reach out to people and
get them to care about causes that matter
But I can’t bring myself to –
at least not just yet.

It costs nothing and is simple to do
As simple as pressing a button which
says I AM A DUDE
As costless as a tarot reading
Or consulting Anita the online psychic
Not as entertaining as playing Poker
or Scrabble
but better perhaps than that
Farmville thing
But I can’t bring myself to –
at least not yet

“Oh stop being such an insufferable prig”
A little voice whispers
and I try not to shout back at it
The numbers and the statistics –
The full magnitude of the disaster
The complete travesty of justice made
For I know, I know these numbers only
because of an invite to that FB page
So I decide I will join cause
Press that button on that FB page
But I can’t bring myself to –
at least not yet.

First, I’ll take a few minutes
and write out a cheque
I know money is not everything
It will not bring back the dead
Or make us citizens of another nation
where justice is subverted less
But money’s language is less ambiguous
It says I am sorry for your pain
And sorry for my own helplessness
in the face of it
In the complex arithmetic of my life
This is the number I have been able to put
to our brotherhood
It is little but I hope that somewhere
it will all add up

So for the moment
I am not a Bhopali,
not just quite yet
I’m just an old fashioned woman
trying to make my way around
supporting causes
in a new fangled world.
But I do hope to get there soon.


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