There is much that is interesting about Bhopal. The period between 1890 and 1926, for example, when it was ruled by a succession of Begums, or its sobriquet of 'city of lakes'.
If Benaras is known for its exquisite silks, Bhopal was famous for its
work. All that changed on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984.
Fans of the 1975 screen classic, Sholay, may still associate the city with the character of Surma Bhopali - today, the city has a restaurant named after him - but in the collective consciousness, Bhopal has come to be associated inextricably with the gas tragedy.Thirty years on, the incident continues to cause agony, both physical and emotional, to victims. It has also divided the city in two. In the more recently-built quarters, the shadow of 1984 has almost dissipated. Here, there is no pain blazing in the eyes long after the tears have dried; you do not hear the repeated refrain of 'khatam ho gaya' uttered in a voice that has lost its grief in the struggle to survive, to take care of the ones that remain. In every house in the bylanes around the ruins of the Union Carbide India Ltd. (UCIL) plant, you hear of parents, spouses and children who died, khatam ho gaye, either in the days or months that followed the disaster, or of lingering health issues in the years since.