31 August 2008


This is a very gory picture- explicit in its seething profanity, showing the worst form of death, the worthlessness and the darkness that exemplified the tiny life (if it had any) of this seven-month old. I was in a thousand minds deciding whether to upload this picture or not but ultimately I gave in. It has been a week since this body was discovered floating in the dark waters of the Malini Beel drain carried within a brown carton. But it was no Moses in the making; it was dead on arrival itself.

It was evening when the entire locality suddenly broke the silence of an otherwise calm Sunday. “There’s a dead baby in the drain”. Everybody wanted to witness this lowest form of human ingenuity. Till then I was cursing the boring turn the day had taken. Minutes before I was engaged in watching Wong Kar-Wai’s unusual but intensely interesting romantic comedy “Fallen Angels” and like I always do, I was reeling the movie inside my head more so because I was a bit inattentive watching it that day. The sudden break of the complex continuation made me rush there (and I’ve no idea why I carried the camera along with me). We’re the last people to visit that floating cemetery. I had no pre-conceived image of what it would look like because it was the second dead body that I had seen in my 23 year long life.

At first I was sure this was a mistake. It was not a stillborn baby; it was a doll- too lifelike like most of the manufactured, branded products these days. Momentarily, I was happy to think that everyone was being fooled- it was just lifeless plastic. But a closer look and the placental cable attached to the navel made it clear who was being really fooled. All of a sudden I felt like puking. Everything was getting blurred. The dark waters and the pale child were too much of a contrast for me. I turned away and started thinking of all the possibilities that might have compelled another of my race to take this drastic step. What I was not able to understand is – why abandon this child in a drain and that too during this treacherous weather? There were so many alternatives or further even, why to bring this child at all? But these questions will remain unanswered. Some questions are born dead while others are buried alive.

The police were informed. They came and carried on with their job. Some hours after the baby was discovered everyone left for his or her home. All of them having a different theory, contributing a different angle, having a different opinion—
But do any of these really matter???

Not even days, but hours after, the wheel of everyday life started rolling with the same old monotony as if nothing had really happened. We all have our own life, our own problems, and our own dark alleys to walk on. This child was born forgotten…so its progenitor thought of abandoning it without thinking what would happen if the ants and the insects chewed upon its delicate flesh, if it could stand the unbearable stench, if it could survive the water currents… Oh! Well! I forgot. It was created so that it could be destroyed…. So much for being HUMAN.

3 after-thought(s):

architect of her own destiny said...

good one sagorika...am glad someone at mass comm of AU is taking up the cause.....keep up the good work!!!

ultimateamit said...

gosh,,,why u have to put this picture?

ShantanuDas said...

Life is ephemeral.... here now gone next instant.....!
Only nature is omnipresent... You know that... of all persons!