‘For several nights I’d weep as I typed’

Hindustan Times 8 June 2010
NK SINGH

That cold December night of 1984 will be etched in my memory forever. I was fast asleep under a warm quilt in Bhopal when the phone rang.

My friend RaajumarKeswani, a journalist, living in the old quarters of the town, sounded agitated, a little incoherent and was gasping for breath and coughing.

He said there was a commotion in the street, people were running around and something had happened. “I am having a problem breathing,” he said.

I came out of my house and was greeted by a bizarre sight. It was almost 1 in the night but the normally deserted road was jam-packed with people as far as my eyes could see.

They were walking silently, visibly tired, some of them carrying children in their arms, others supporting older people. Many lay on the footpath. Quite a few were very ill and vomiting. Several others were trying to stop vehicles, already overloaded with people.

I asked a person: what happened?”

“The gas tank in Union Carbide has burst,” was the reply. Continue reading “‘For several nights I’d weep as I typed’”