Friday, 5 December 2014

Bhopal - Thoughts & Beyond!!!

Holding a pen to paper comes with a great responsibility. Maybe in this day and age, we are holding on to a laptop, furiously typing away; but that as well comes with a far greater responsibility. 6000+ hits every month means someone, somewhere is definitely reading what I write here. And that adds on a larger role, much larger than just creating recipes or reviewing restaurants. It is important to sometimes sit and try to create awareness on pertinent issues of life. I have always read and seen the arguments of ‘for’ and ‘against’ using organic food. But a movie was what I needed to come to a conclusion of sorts.

This week, Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain opens up in a theatre near you. As you can guess very well, it’s a movie based on the infamous Bhopal gas tragedy, which took over 10,000 lives instantly, while many more victims are dying each day in the heart of India. Sevin, the fertilizer that was made cheaply in a plant situated in the middle of the town, has been banned all over the world now. Maybe, just maybe if it was done before, we might have saved so many lives!

The story is set in 1984, where an unskilled worker (Rajpal Yadav) faces a crunch of work, and struggles to make ends meet. Warren Anderson, comes as a god to him, to establish the factory- UNION CARBIDE; keeping everyone in dark about the negative impact it might have on health and wellbeing of the sleepy town of Bhopal. The Government connives, and health officers don’t have the time to research on the chemicals processing in the plant.  The callous management doesn’t care about the safety, and instead employs unskilled labour from the street to run important posts of the factory. 1 death sparks an interest in the local journalist, but no one has the time to read or react to his stories. And then the inevitable happens. Joyous occasion of a wedding is turned into a saddened storm of death and destruction, thanks to the gas leak.

The story is written quite thoughtfully, and each character delivers in the movie. The choppy camera movements could have been avoided in the first half, but the 2nd half made perfect sense in every way. It’s surely a movie not to be missed, and surely a movie that would spark off quite some arguments about eating organic or not. But then again, I ended up asking myself, even if I choose to buy organic labelled fruits, veggies and groceries, am I 100 % sure it is fertilizer/pesticide/other chemicals free? The movie has chronicled how the Carbide’s foreign as well as Indian management spread lies and misinformation about chemicals inside the plant. How they chose to not take any measures of precautions, just to cut down on the cost of production. That scene obviously keeps a doubt in my head whether today as well, we have grown enough to deliver on our promise, or are immature enough to cheat for greedy gains. The arguments are endless and long. We are what we are, even if we are a nation of cribbing Indians. Greed does take the good out from all.  And hence, I have come to the conclusion of actually taking that much of time to peel my in/organic fruits, to cook my in/organic veggies till soft and to soak my in/organic grains to minimise the attack of chemicals in our everyday life!

Movie Cast- Rajpal Yadav,Tannishtha Chatterjee, Mischa Barton, Martin Sheen, Kal Penn, Fagun Thakrar

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