A couple of years ago I’d written a short story and it began like this:
‘I was standing there, strayed in the street, unnoticed amidst the crowd. My eyes were searching for something … someone. Suddenly, I fell down. Probably someone had pushed me. I tried to stand but somebody pushed me again so I fell really hard on the street once more. Cursing the fellow who pushed me, I finally stood up. I stretched and looked as far as I could but my family was nowhere to be seen. I didn’t know what to do. My eyes were wet, my heart was beating loud, my legs shaking but I didn’t know whether it was from nervousness or due to the shaking of the earth. Yes, the ground was literally shaking. Our city was hit by an earthquake. Everyone was running here and there, pushing every individual who come on their way like bowling balls hitting its pins, while I was standing on the street like a lifeless statue. All the houses were collapsing. The people were shouting and children were crying. The street was filled with chaos.’
But I never thought that this piece of fiction could turn into a reality. Yesterday, Nepal was hit by a 7.9 Richter scale of earthquake and the aftershocks have still not ceased though it’s been more than 18 hours. There have been more than 25 aftershocks and the country is in great chaos.
At 12:00 noon yesterday when the earth started shaking vigorously, I was at Patan Durbar Square, a place known for cultural asset and listed under UNESCO world heritage site. As I was holding a bench cemented in the ground, I watched my country’s asset turn into dust within seconds. Everything started collapsing right in front of my eyes. I actually though it was the last day of my life because for a while I had no hope of returning back. The scene was horrible and terrifying. People started screaming and crying, buildings started collapsing, there was chaos all over the city.
I was there to meet my friend but we couldn’t meet and I had to return back with my dad. The motorbike ride from Patan to Jawalakhel was the scariest ride where I watched the destruction in the city first handed.
All the cultural heritages got damaged and about 1,500 people died but the number is increasing as the ruins as being cleaned. The aftershocks have still not stopped and there are chances of earthquake bigger than prior within 48 hours so people have to be conscious and stay put. Everyone had camped outside for the night and so did our family. We were just praying for the rain not to pour down because everyone would be in distress if it does happen.
The night was spent with sleeplessness, earthquakes and mosquito bites. And yes, gentle showers of rain for a couple of minutes. Ambulance sirens, people’s anxious cries and the sudden angry roar of the earth as it shakes are being heard frequently. There has been news that we aren’t safe for 48 hours. Well for now, my friends and family are fine and though there has been destruction done to their physical infrastructures, no harm has been done to their health. So all we can do is stay put and pray for earthquakes to end.
I know this blog is for a different cause but I write for change and to help people and my country needs a lot of prayers and help. If you want to help Nepal click on this link:
These pictures were clicked by me as soon as the first earthquake took place while I was in Patan Durbar Square yeaterday!