Ever been to Khaufpur?

Go visit. Khaufpur, a fictionalised version of Bhopal, is where Indra Sinha sets his novel, Animal’s People.

From Lucy Beresford’s review in The New Statesman:

Nearly 20 years ago, Khaufpur was devastated by a chemical leak at a factory owned by an American firm, referred to by Khaufpuris as “the Kampani”. Thousands died during what has come to be known as “That Night”, including Animal’s parents. Two decades on, women still carry the toxins in their milk, and Animal is condemned to walk on all fours after the poisons attacked his body and froze his spine. Physically deformed he may be, and the butt of much peer contempt, but he is still human – a sentiment he strenuously denies until the book’s close.

From Indra Sinha’s website:

ANIMAL’S PEOPLE is dedicated to our friend Sunil Kumar, who died in July 2006, aged 34. It had been dedicated to him from the moment I began writing it five years ago. He didn’t live to see it published.
Some of the stories Sunil told me about his life found their way into the novel, however the character of Animal is entirely fictional, as are his antics. Following reports in the BBC and elsewhere that the book chronicles Sunil’s life, I want to make it clear that it doesn’t – although Animal’s ability to live on 4 rupees a day (£0.05, €0.07, $0.10) and his sense of humour were certainly inherited from Sunil.

Spend a little time if you drop in at Khaufpur. Browse the classifieds, which include remedies for “sex problems”, chakra balancing experts, relief for back pain and neck pain, and this: “Caring for all breathing difficulties, other ailments related to the poison disaster Hills Clinic, Dr Arshad.” Don’t miss the ‘What’s On’ section, where alongside tantric painting exhibitions, sarangi performances and a screening of Mughal-e-Azam, there’s this: ” Bob Scheinfeld, Busting Out Of The Poverty Trap. Top US coach shares the secrets of self-empowerment and wealth creation. Few seats left, all tickets Rs 15,000.”





One response to “Ever been to Khaufpur?”

  1. Silvia Merialdo Avatar

    Hi! I have been there, both through the book and the website.The book is so powerful that it is like living in Khaufpur/Bhopal, I am still amazed…

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