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Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Daughter

The train rolled into Tirur railway station slowly coming to a stop
It was an odd time and the platform was empty.
from a sleeper compartment a middle aged man got down with a small shoulder bag which he clutched with care ,his other hand was closed on a small palm of his daughter ,the child was groggy with sleep and her small frame slowly got down the steps guided by her father ,she never uttered a word of complaint but there was tiredness in that innocent face .
the dawn was a bit chilly as it had rained in fact it was still drizzling he brought her closer to him in a protective embrace on her shoulders he too had a sad drained look to him .
the sad couple walked to the station masters room at the to the other end ,
all the shops in the platform were shut tight and the rare bench had snoring figures
no one noticed them trudging on
the train slowly moved away from the station on to its long journey ,
the station became very quiet .
the station master was in his room poring over his ledger and fiddling with it ,he looked up at the knock by the stranger with the small child ,
yes what do you want ?
Sir we had just arrived from cochin in the train ,sir can we get a retiring room for the rest of the night my daughter is very tired and no hotels would give us a room at this hour !
he looked at them ,the man looked educated and the child was half asleep
how come this time do you belong to Tirur .?
sir we had come here to go to Tirunavaya in the morning but we need to rest for some time till the train from Chennai reaches as her uncle will be in that
we have come to perform rites .
Tirunavaya was a well known place near Tirur where the Navamugundan temple was known for the flowing Bharathapuzha or river and was also very famously known for conducting Hindu death rites .


Oh I see


for whom ?
sir my elder daughter she left us
 all that I have of her is in this bag
oh ├Ćam sorry to hear that


he could see tears welling out of the mans eye

you are lucky today as  the retiring room is empty usually we have some railway staff on duty occupying it .
come with me
they followed him
how old was she ?
sir eleven
oh sad and this little one ?
she is just five
ok


he opened the lock of a shuttered room and asked the man to go in
the room may not  very neat but it had two beds and was spacious with a toilet but no hot water or anything
its ok sir thanks
you can pay before you leave said he and walked off .


The man kept his bag and made his tired child lie down on a bed and covered her with a thin sheet
he too lay down too in the other bed tired
for a long time he gazed at the ceiling lost in his thoughts and then dozed off


His alarm went off at 5 am he quickly had his bath the water was cold and he wondered whether he should insist on his child taking bath ,
better to ,he thought in that way she need not dip in the river before the rites it would be colder there .
so he slowly nudged her awake .
mollu please get up your uncle will be here shortly and you need to have your bath
she woke up with no protest
yes Acha
he asked her to brush her teeth and take a quick bath in the cold water and he rubbed her dry  with a towel
she was shivering the poor thing and he felt cruel


They got ready and then locked the door gave the key to the station master and paid ,
did you have some rest asked the station master


thanks sir we did
that's a good girl there he said to the daughter


 the train from Chennai had come by then The uncle  came and the trio went as planned to Tirunavaya did all the rites and returned back
while the uncle left to Chennai the man went with his daughter to cochin
it was all over
that's life


it started two days later the high fever the shivering for his little one
he blamed himself for that chilly bath
what a fool I was !
I have caused this to my daughter


she really became sick and was admitted in a hospital for a worried week and finally she got over it a very stressful week indeed


Today that little child is on the anvil to become a paediatrician and hopefully will treat children like her
for she s my little daughter

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

shed a tear please

The stench was overpowering , the winds howled  ,death was in the air .
Dhruv ran from the edge of the platform to the station masters room ,
he saw people swaying some falling dead some running like mad men and women with their hands on their head their eyes red and streaming with tears their lungs burnt and scarred and gasping for air their noses bleeding 
The air was full of cries howls and the place looked like a bad dream 
 dusk fell and it grew dark electricity had been cut for fear of fires and so it was all the more sinister then 
feebly some lights started burning as someone put on lanterns and petromaxes .
The Union carbide factory was just about ten kilometers from the railway station and it was spewing toxic fumes our of its belly killing and maiming thousands ,
it would become the greatest tragedy known to mankind ,
a tragedy caused by greed and callousness of its owners who never followed safety guidelines as they were in a country they could get away without any ,
even after the genocide they could still get away helped by the very powers of the country they scarred for ever !
For the representatives of the people who were voted to protect them always thought of their own comforts and wallets hence would support all sort of wrongs done in it .
The main CEO of the killer factory would live to a ripe age of ninety knowing fully well of the unfair compensation offered to the hundreds of sick ,thousands who had died on that fateful day and live a comfortable cosy life in his country while the politicians in India saw to it he was never disturbed till his death 
Dhruv was the station master on that fateful day in Bhopal .

He had only one thing in his mind then .
he was not thinking of his son just four years of age or his young nubile wife married just six years back 
he knew they would have died as his house was near the factory and death was assured for its neighbors ,
he knew he would no longer play with his son no longer throw him in the air no longer feed him he would no longer make love to his wife he would no longer see his old mother he knew they were all dead but he still ran !
he ran not to save himself 
he ran to save others 
All this while the chief minister of Madhya pradesh who also in Bhopal sped in his car far away with family to get away to live and to protect the culprits

 these are the servants of people they are actually the worst enemies of the people .

Dhruv entered his room saw his assistants sprawled in a pool of blood dead 

he jumped over them pushed their bodies to a side with a sickening thud and got into the phone desperately he twiddled the controls tried to block the incoming express train and warn them but it was too late the train entered shortly and passengers got out swayed and fell many more died 

Dhruv was at his controls again warning other trains to speed away from this death town not to open windows
 he tried to divert many trains he did his duty

 he saved many that night 
morning came like in a funeral 
the gloom descended like a dark cloud over the city as vultures flew to get their plentiful prey 
the police were trying to make some order 
the stench was every where
 the railways platform was spewed with the dead and the maimed 
the station masters room swayed in the wind 
it slammed on its hinges gently 
it  revealed a dead Dhruv sprawled on the floor with his hands on the signal machine which had fallen over him 
the blue buttons beeped faintly crying for its dead master 
Dhruv to his last breath he did his duty 

this is a  true story 

a story we never hear

we hear only of those Arjun singhs 
not the Dhruvs who died for us 
so please shed a tear before you shed  a vote 

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