Rigorous walk for Bhopal cause finished, will turn into a book

By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net,

New Delhi: Andrew David Simpson’s rigorous walk or Narmada Parikrama, as it’s popularly known, which he undertook on 17th November last year, in order to raise awareness and money for the victims of Bhopal gas tragedy, got finished on 17th December 2010. He is planning to pen down the experiences he had during the walk into a book.

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Before starting his walk, Andrew had set the target of raising 1000 Pounds for the Bhopal cause. He has already raised almost 400 Pounds; besides 15 % of all the earnings from the book will go to the Sambhavna clinic in Bhopal, site of the toxic gas tragedy of 1984 that instantly killed thousands and continues to plague tens of thousands more due to the poisoned water supply. The clinic provides free medical care to those who were affected by the gas leak and the water supply.

During a visit to Delhi, Andrew Simpson or Bones, as people call him informally, talks to TwoCircles.net about his further plans and the “ultimate spiritual” and “much exhaustive experience” he had during the Parikrama.

“During this one month long walk, I saw the India which a normal Indian from a cosmopolitan, let alone any tourists, hardly gets to see,” says Andrew who is a professional musician and has composed a song- “Won’t Go Quietly” devoted to the victims of Bhopal gas tragedy.

He covered the entire walk in the company of sadhus (saints), as the way was not safe for traveling alone because of the presence of tigers and dacoits. With Sadhus he had to lead a very austere life with getting up very early and having bath at 5 in the morning in that cold Narmada water.

“It was a spiritual experience which I was forced to have because being a skeptic I was not looking for spiritual experience. But it was an eye opener. There were moments of fun but there was also drama during my walk which I want to share with a wider audience,” says Andrew.

Andrew says that the book will also be about “my dilemma during this journey between my desire to turn a spiritualist like those sadhus or to continue being a musician with also being a walker with a cause.”

At present he is off to Mussoorie, a hill station in Uttaranchal, where he will try finishing his book, besides learning how to play Sitar and write songs.