Well, the last whole week was spent wandering in the lanes of the walled city. I did a story from Chandni Mahal in old Delhi where a more-than-100-year-old building collapsed, killing seven and injuring more than 30.
The first day when I went there, the site was cordoned off and heavily police. With help from locals, I managed to go and see for myself the ruins of the old building that couldn't bear the burden of new construction. I also met relatives who lost their loved ones in this unforeseen accident. I must tell you that it wasn't a pleasant sight to witness the arrival of trampled dead bodies after post mortem. After a brief stint of wailing and crying, the bodies left for their final journey along with chanting of Ram Naam Satya Hay.
When you witness something like this, it's natural to get into a contemplative mode. Well, I too had my set of realisations. I kept wondering throughout the shoot as to who was to blame. Was it the greed of a few men (builders) who wanted to make some extra bucks by making rooms on a building which was already on its last legs? Or is it because of the in-built corruption in our system that ensures that authorities turn blind eye to illegal activities like this?
We all know that the blame game will go on and not a single soul will ever take responsibility. Being a journalist, who was there to report the incident, I somewhat was not comfortable with the expectation people looked at me with. I lent them my ears and listened to all that they had to say. But more than that, what could I do? Can I bring back their loved ones or can I build their broken houses or can I fix their wrecked happiness and give them a reason to live again? How equally helpless we journalists are in a situation like this...I wish these innocent souls knew.
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