Friday, 1 November 2013

A wednesday to forget

As I walked back home on Wednesday this week, I couldn't help but contemplate about how my day ended. I was 140 kilometers away at the unfortunate crash site of a bus on the highway near Hyderabad in the morning, and here I am now at a wedding reception with a friend at 9 30 pm.

Even the happy environment wasn't enough to dull the grotesquely vivid scenes I had to watch of the 45 burnt bodies out of my head. It is something I probably won't forget. Ever

It was all page one news, everywhere. For once, I didn't rue about not getting a by line for my effort of going so far to report, because it was the last week of work at the organization I worked for. My  by-lines were blocked. I've seen dead bodies, battered dead bodies, injured persons with blood dripping off their bodies, but never did I witness what I had seen that morning near the highway, after that ill-fated bus coming to Hyderabad with 52 people crashed and caught fire.

The acrid smell of smoke, or rather, something having been charred, was all around. At first I thought it was only the bus, which lay to the left side of the road, completely burnt, except for its blackish frame which was intact. As I stepped nearer, I saw two huge tents which were set up. I was wondering why that was.

It was only when I went down the ravine, that I realised to my horror, that the strong odor that I had smelt was of the 45 charred bodies in one those tents. The other one was for families of the deceased to wait. All 45 of them, including a baby, were just lying in positions which seemed like they were trying to shield themselves from the flames which took their lives. I could only look for few seconds at best.

One burnt body had his or her hands covering the face, while others just looked like they writhed in pain while the bus was engulfed in flames. They were all in 'seated' positions. This incident was far worse than the bomb blast which took place earlier this year, simply because of the way it happened, simply because of the way it transpired.

45 people were burnt to death in minutes at the highway near Mahbubnagar, in a bus which was coming to Hyd from B'lore, on Wednesday morning. The point is, like how the February bomb blasts were nothing but  a week or ten days worth of news, this incident too will meet the same fate, as always. The RTA will start going after private buses, like how the police tightened law and order for a month. The media will start highlighting news about buses and their problems.

For a while the ball will be in motion, then it will end, and then there will be another bus accident, and then the same things will repeat again. Although I have learnt a lot reporting from such sites, be it this incident or the bomb blast, I am now tired of witnessing death, its tragedies, the sadness which shadows the families of the dead, and the grim atmosphere it creates for a while.

 And with that, I end this silly rant of mine.

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