Sunday, May 23, 2010

Alas! I have only a ‘drop in the ocean’ to offer to Mangalore air disaster victims

The scene of Boeing crash at Patna on July17,2000- Pic by Deepak Kumar






NALIN VERMA

The crash of the Air India Boeing 737 at the Mangalore airport instantly revived my memory of India’s last major airline disaster in Patna on July 17, 2000. I was among the most of the Patna residents who had been trying to forget the tragedy for the best part of the decade.

But a phone call from my editor, R Rajagopal asking me to recollect the horrendous event and pen it down once again brought the scene of the thick layers of smoke covering the surroundings around the crashed Alliance Airlines Boeing-737, bodies charred beyond recognition and the wails of the grieving relatives alive in my mind.

The call of the editor, bound by his duty to reflect the trauma and bliss of the people in a dispassionate fashion, awakened me to my responsibility as a journalist to keep the accounts of whatever I have seen and covered- bad or good. After all, I had covered the July 2000 air tragedy and the editor rightly asked me recall the event.

Many people had left Patna’s Gardanibagh for fear of ghosts after the Boeing 737 crashed into the locality 10 years ago, killing 60 people including all five occupants of a bungalow on which it had perished.

The Saturday’s Mangalore disaster seemed to bring those ghosts back from the past. A four-storey girls’ school has replaced the government bungalow on which the Alliance Air flight from Calcutta had dropped on July 17, 2000.

It was hard to forget the scene for years. Amarendra Mishra who survived for he was not at home but had lost all his family members in the house on which the plane had dropped has shifted to another neighbourhood. Many others followed him, fearing “dead men’s ghosts loitering amid the debris”. Some performed yajnas and havans for weeks and months at the site to drive the “evil spirits” away.

The residents still recall that the fear of ghosts haunted them for more than two years. They did not go to the spot. The 10-katha plot stayed abandoned for years. The site was fenced off with barbed wire and stayed in that condition till six months ago. Now the state government has built the Kamala Nehru Girls’ School, which will soon be inaugurated.

Ironically, it was an another incident of trauma that gave way to the idea of building the girls’ school at the air disaster site to obliterate the memory of the one of the worst ever air disasters in India, prior to Saturday. The Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar lost his wife, Maju Devi, a teacher by profession in 2007. Mr Kumar has got built the Kamala Nehru Girls’ school in his wife’s memory at the site which stayed as the abode of ‘ghosts’ for the most part of the decade after the mishap.

The four story school at the site which got ready only four months ago is likely to get functional soon. The residents now hope that life will return to what was the ghosts’ abode when the giggling girls and teachers throng at the school and the bell rings.

An ordinary mortal my heart goes out to the people who lost their near and dear ones in the disaster at Mangalore. I pray for the peace of the departed souls and strength to the relatives to bear with the loss. I wish I had the power and charisma to infuse life among those who left us pre-maturely.

I also know that mine is a wishful thinking, bordering more on emotion than the reality. But at the same time I offer with whatever limited resources I have to alleviate the sufferings of my fellow human beings who underwent the loss on Saturday at Mangalore.

I am ready to offer a part of my salary to the student who lost his father supporting his study. I am ready to love and care the ones who lost their caring parents. I also offer myself to help and share the grief of the parents who lost their sons and daughters in the disaster.

I am far away from Mangalore. But feel free to contact me. I am ready to offer whatever I have despite I know that my contribution is like a drop in the ocean.

33 comments:

  1. Felix,

    Thanks for stopping by. But I failed figure out what you wished to express. Regds, Nalin

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks 730_ngelina for stopping by.
    You are quite right in your observations. Regards, Nalin

    ReplyDelete
  3. 若對自己誠實,日積月累,就無法對別人不忠了。........................................

    ReplyDelete
  4. 河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nalin ji, I may be wrong, but some of the above comments (not yours) seem like spam to me.

    Thanks for writing this touching post. It's thanks to people like you that the world is still livable.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Bhaswati,

    Thanks a lot for your comment. And yes, I too feel that they are spam...otherwise they would have been making sense. Regds, Nalin

    ReplyDelete
  7. 失去金錢的人,失去很多;失去朋友的人,失去更多;失去信心的人,失去所有。.................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  8. 愛情是一種發明,需要不斷改良。只是,這種發明和其他發明不一樣,它沒有專利權,隨時會被人搶走。.................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  9. 一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼.................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  10. 如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。.................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  11. 夜光杯中飲美酒 蝸牛牆邊爬上架 新疆醉人馬奶子 青鳥銜之上金井............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  12. 不願彎腰撿拾一根針的人,永遠不值得一塊錢。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  13. 河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    ReplyDelete

Search This Blog

There was an error in this gadget