The roads on which I learned to run bicycle in my childhood are weathered now and they greeted me with their ugly faces, quite different from what I saved in my childhood memories. Last year when I had a small visit to my birth place, small colony of manufacturing unit of fertilizer corporation of India, Gorakhpur, I saw a deteriorating life in things and places around the unit which is struggling for its existence for around sixteen years after its decommissioning.
The school where I completed my primary and secondary education is still running. Later after closure of plant, it was converted to ‘kendriya vidyalaya’ and now most of the students come here from outside the colony. During my childhood it was mainly dedicated for the children of people working in the unit. The small temple is still there, perhaps maintained by some religious funding. I do not remember the priest there twenty years ago, but now when I saw the present one looked as if he is the same, over sixty years of age now, doing all rituals in same way from early morning to late evening. The temple, though lost its liveliness of morning prayers to evening aarti, God is still there, in right spirit in those idols, unchanged. Everything else there is definitely aged. Big playgrounds where we used to fight for place to play in center, is full of weeds and untrimmed wild grass. Local market has become smaller now, only with some grocery shops and a stationery shop, just to serve the people living and maintaining remains of the place there.
Fertilizer corporation of India started this unit in 1969 and this place flourished for around two and half decades when obsolescence of technology, fiscal losses coupled with several labor issues forced the government to shut down the unit in 1990. I wonder whether a fair voluntary retirement scheme could ever have compensated labor and technicians for the quality of life they had for them and their children with subsidized education and healthcare.
There was no surprise that the world outside boundaries of the corporation has moved a lot ahead. But the word inside those boundaries looked as if someone lost his glory and waiting for some one in his aged old days for support. This place has lived its time line on infinite yesterdays and infinite tomorrows to come. The part of time line has moved and lost. Time is like energy, if it’s with you life is with you; if it goes, it takes everything. Lets hope that time would return with life and energy intact in the form of some divestment by government or some take over by some or something else…