The Ghosts Of Bhopal

The Ghosts Of Bhopal

Part Three: Post Mortem Dr. Satpathy ordered that each unclaimed body be photographed and identified by number. Dec. 3, 1984. Stones tapping at the window. What time is it? Certainly past midnight. The sound is loud enough and persistent enough to rouse Dr. D.K. Satpathy from his slumbers. Fie. The man throwing these stones isRead more about The Ghosts Of Bhopal[…]

The Ghosts of  Bhopal

The Ghosts of Bhopal

Part Two: Building a New India   Daulat Singh Rajput, a local farmer The village square in Dhamarra, 30 kilometres north of Bhopal, is centred by a vibrantly painted Hindu temple (hibiscus pinks and sea blues), a russet-coloured made-in-India Massey Ferguson 1035 DI tractor, and two cows. In a moment, the tractor will taka-taka-taka outRead more about The Ghosts of Bhopal[…]

The Ghosts of Bhopal

The Ghosts of Bhopal

Part One: Wedding Season
Nadir Khan

The night was black as batwings and the winds were growing colder as Nadir Khan clocked out of his job at the Union Carbide factory, strode past the security guard station, then through the front gate and headed for home.

Sunday, Dec. 2, 1984. The date carried no significance when Khan commenced his shift at 3 p.m. It was a Sunday like any other. Eight hours later, as he returned to his rough shanty in the bustee of Jaiprakash Nagar, there was little to remark upon. Or at least little that was known to Khan.
It was wedding season in Bhopal, the lake city of Madhya Pradesh, the state that lies in the very heart of India. If a bejeweled white stallion had cantered along Berasia Road that December night and disappeared like an apparition into the wind, no one would have batted an eye, least of all Nadir Khan. Baraats, or wedding processions, reach their peak in the winter months and Khan had come to know this as a seasonal commonplace.
To see Khan that night would be to observe a 35-year-old, slight of build, medium height, with a full head of dark hair and a pencil moustache that arced dashingly above his plush upper lip. He walked south on Berasia, then east along what had come to be known as Union Carbide Road. He was not the type to hurry his walk.