It was Five Past Midnight in Bhopal by Dominique Lapierre & Javier Moro

Day 9 of #AtoZChallenge

Bhopal, a prominent city of central India, will never forget the night of December 3, 1984. The night marred lives of thousands of unsuspecting dwellers of the city. Union Carbide’s chemical plant at Bhopal which had promised employment and development to the city ended up taking lives and maiming many more when the poisonous Methyl Isocyanate leaked from its plant at midnight. Dominique Lapierre’s book traces the lives of people who were a victim of the tragedy and lived to bear the aftermath and share their stories.
Bhopal gas tragedy is considered one of the worst industrial disasters that once again highlighted the mistreatment of third world countries by the global conglomerates. The accident was a result of sheer carelessness on the part of the owners. To make matters worse, Warren Anderson was provided political asylum by the erstwhile government validating that capitalism often wins over humanity and justice. People of Bhopal still live in the trauma of that fateful night.

Lapierre’s investigative account of the incident and its aftermath is sympathetic and truthful. He describes the lives of people who had migrated from other locations to Bhopal for livelihood but ended up being prey to the fatal accident. The author has a sensitive way of depicting emotions of people he encountered during his journey. He infuses hope and optimism when there is only grief all around. It is only author’s proficiency that a book telling such a difficult story remained interesting and compassionate and did not end up sounding like a monotonous documentary.

City Of Joy that celebrates the colourful city of Kolkata (Calcutta) is yet another masterpiece by the author and is considered one of the best books that describe the magnificent city.

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