Fear, Love, and Loss
Jintong Wang, Division 1, 5th grade #ws18e-s2d1

All of a sudden, you wake up to your child choking and coughing. When you drag yourself from your bed to see what’s wrong, your throat burns as if it caught fire, and tears trickle down your red cheeks. Panicking, you run into a room embellished with pictures of unicorns and pink hearts. You cradle her between your arms, trying to mollify her. A siren blatantly rambles through your neighborhood in Bhopal, India. The audacious sound heightens the sense of urgency. Can I breathe now? Gasping for a breath, no air seems to flow through your lungs. Your knees become powerless, as if they were debilitated, or hastily beaten with a baseball bat. You collapse. The last thing you hear is a stampede of stomping feet, rushing your direction.

On December 3, 1984 at 12:15 A.M., a macabre tragedy occurred. Methyl Isocyanate (MIC), an extremely noxious gas, leaked from the storage tanks of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. The waterways of Bhopal were instantaneously contaminated and exposure to the poisonous fumes quickly gave many a tragic demise. Stampeding hordes of humans trampled over a sea of collapsed, comatose people.

If I had a chance to go back to the past and change something, I would try to stop Union Carbide, the company responsible for this calamitous catastrophe, from using Methyl Isocyanate as a cheaper substitute for creating Pesticide Carbaryl. Perhaps the gas tanks would not have combusted. Perhaps innocent victims would not have suffered the fatality. Perhaps people still living in Bhopal would have less or no deformities at birth. Perhaps Union Carbide would have not have paid the 470 million dollars for the disaster.

Petrifying terror would not own the ability to knock out bodies with the fear of perishing before the MIC opened the door to the Underworld. The victims of the Bhopal industrial disaster suffered apprehension before they lost their life. Imagine yourself as a 7-year-old child being taken away from the only place you ever knew or coming home from a relief center to find your house entirely wiped out from all your prized belongings.

The deaths of many were not their own doing. Thousands of innocent people, living their usual life, were instantly killed with no clue of what befell them. Farmers, businessmen, and the common folks lost everything they owned.

If I had an opportunity to go back to the past and change one thing, it would be the Bhopal Gas Tragedy. Many people suffered from trepidation or unknown slaughter. Their fear and sufferings are unnecessary and incomprehensible, leaving loved ones behind to mourn their loss. “Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.”
-H.Jackson Brown, Jr.
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