Saturday, 10 December 2011

Rest In Peace.

Yesterday morning Calcutta woke up to another horrifying story! A fire in a hospital! Our domestic help came rushing with news which had already prompted us out of our beds at 6 in the morning! Eyes struck on the television; we heard her first hand review of the situation. She said nearly 200 are trapped inside and a lot feared to be dead. The news hadn't mentioned any casualties. We thought she was exaggerating. She turned out to be right.

This morning I went to see the hospital which is a 15 minute walk from our place. A lot of nearby slum dwellers, who have been applauded for the immense help during the outbreak, were present. Some talking to the police, some with the fire department staff. Nearly 27 hours after the fire broke out, the presence of two fire tenders reminded me of what must have gone on the day earlier. Broken glass, shattered windows, and people speaking in hushed whispers was all that was left of yesterday's tragedy.

To think 90 lives had been lost in the building towering over me, the shadows of whose facade fell over me in the early morning sun sent a chill up my spine. I didn't have the strength to take my cell out and click pictures. I suddenly shuddered to think how reporters and journalists take bytes of the survivors and families of victims, how they see death lower its grip over people and snatch them away. All I could do was stand and stare at how an institution of life turned into a haven of death overnight.

May their souls rest in peace.
And may their families find the strength to live on.
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