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Mainstream, VOL L, No 33, August 4, 2012

A Voice From Fukushima

Wednesday 8 August 2012, by Sagari Chhabra

The sixtyseventh anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing falls on August 6 this year. Seventeen months ago Fukushima happened in the wake of the tsunami that struck Japan. We remember the victims of those tragedies by publishing the following poem.

(A tribute to those who died in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima)

It was a day
Like any other, in March.
I was inside the home,
Doing laundry for the kids,
When I sensed a tremor.
I was quite used to earthquakes,
So I ran outside,
Taking each child
By the hand,
Out, into the open land.
But then a sound started.
A haunting siren;
A deafening noise,
Suddenly, the heat was unbearable
And I collapsed,
I don’t know what happened
To my children;
I swore, I held them
To the last—steadfast.
But the heat penetrated me,
It burnt my insides out,
It burnt skin, tissue and bone,
Till I lay there fine-honed,
Like a fish;
Gasping for water.
Many of us perished
in this manslaughter.
I am somewhere
In Fukushima
Buried in the ground
And I have found,
My country is now
Phasing out nuclear plants.
It’s a pity
it didn’t do so earlier;
I would have loved
To be alive,
But now that I have been
Singed by the fire ball
And my dreams
Have been extinguished
Along with my life;
I hear they are
Establishing nuclear parks
In the country where
Lord Buddha was born.
From my head
My locks are shorn,
From my jaw
My teeth are torn,
I lie buried in the ground
Beneath the rubble.
If you can hear my voice
Above the din,
Nuclear energy is anything
But green,
Believe me, the view from here
Is a sordid scene.
Skeletons and carcasses amidst fuel rods
That emit radioactivity for years,
Oh! Do lend me your ears;
We are turning the earth
Into a necropolis
To light up the metropolis.
This is a bloodless death
Accompanied by violence,
Pay heed to my silence,
Amidst the grave-yard
Rubble of Fukushima.
May 2012
Sagari Chhabra

[Sagari Chhabra is a writer, film-director and social activist]

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