Yesterday was one distressing day…
1st there was an earthquake, which lasted only for 5 seconds physically, but has still not left my mind…
It reminded me of that black day of 26th Jan, 2001… For the 1st time i felt real fear. I realized that the place you call home, where you can run away to hide from every problem of yours, where you feel safe and belonged and where your loved ones stay, that place can actually kill you!!!
I remember my cousin had called to wish me, coz he was out of town on my birthday. After we finished talking, he was talking to my mom on the phone…And then it happened…Suddenly the room started vibrating violently, 1st thought that came to my mind was that some huge bulldozer has collided with our flats (effect of watching some movie, i think), then i realized that how absurd that thought was. i came running out and shouted for everybody to get out of the house…Mom was still on the phone, on the other side of the line my auntie too shouted to get out. Thankfully my brother was already downstairs, so my papa, mummy and i rushed out of the house and went down running…Leaving the house, i saw the devastation that was happening in our home…All the cupboard doors had opened and were banging violently…The crockery and dabbas were falling out.
The earthquake continued even after we reached down. I could see the door of balcony banging and the small decorative hangings in the balcony oscillating eerily….
I could see big cracks appearing in the flat accompanied by noise.
And then it stopped.
But there were devastating effects of that earthquake. Everybody was calling each other frantically. mobile networks were jammed. We went to see our relative staying in the same flat. The auntie was badly shaken, she didn’t remember a thing about that earthquake. It seemed that those few seconds had been wiped off her memory.
Then someone told that the Mansi tower had fallen. I couldn’t believe it, i thought of it as a rumor. But when we went to the other gate of our flats, i could see that it actually had fallen!!! It all sounded so impossible, how can Mansi tower fall down, i mean i pass by it everyday. It was hard to believe that all this was happening to us. You always think that such things happen to other people, you think you are just normal people doing normal things. And things like these happen in far away lands and you hear about them in news. But there it was, happening to us, to our city and lots of other cities around. There was a lot of destruction and as a result many people lost there lives and all earthly belongings. We counted our blessings that at least we were safe and our home was not shattered.
i remember us going back to home after an hour, to pack our bags and clean up. We shifted to my grandfather’s place which was on ground floor. We stayed there for a month and then finally returned home. But i still remember a black bag, sitting in drawing room, filled with some important documents, money and cloths. To be picked up while running from the house in case of emergency.
We all were glued to news channels. There were horrific scenes at a lot of places. The Kutch region was worst hit. Ahmedabad also had seen lots of destruction with falling of many towers and flats. Colleges and schools were closed for a month. I remember mummy papa going to office later and me worrying sick for there safety.
Yesterday when this earthquake happened in Iran and the tremors were felt here, i didn’t worry much. i took my phone and keys and was about to pick up sleeping Zini to get out of the house and it stopped, so i didn’t go out. But then i received a call from my papa, who asked me if i we were ok. He didn’t tell me that they too felt the tremors and with no cable connection at home i too didn’t know. Then my mom called she too asked about us without telling me they too felt tremors. Then my hubby called, he was not in the city and wanted to ensure that we were ok. My maami called and then she told me that they too had felt tremors but. And that’s when i got worried. Immediately my maasi called and told me how she felt her 9th floor flat rocking and the utensils falling. This got me really worried. All these calls came while i was on the other call, they all stayed in call waiting till i finished the 1st call. In their voices i could feel their love for us. i called up MIL to check on them, it turned out they were sleeping and didn’t know anything about the quake. i thanked God that my family was safe.
And then in the morning, i read the news about terror attack in Boston. It shook me once again. I got the fearfull memories of Hyderabad blasts rushing back to me. We had been to Koti for buying books just 4 days before the blast. And necklace road was a place we frequented often. I remember our neighbour auntie shedding silent tears for her nephew whom she had a lost in a such a mindless blast a few years ago. Once again i realized that it can happen to us. Your city is not safe. I can come to terms with natural calamities, but why do we have this mindless terrorism running rampant in the world? The pain of loosing a loved one to an cowardly act of terrorism can be mind numbing. The world is becoming a dangerous place day by day.
But then i remembered the heart warming stories of people helping each other and help pouring in from every corner of the world. Everybody doing their bit by donating money, cloths, food and most importantly their labour of love. A lot of professionals ran to the affected places and offered their help. There were many fighters who survived the trauma of loosing their loved ones and all the belongings and found love and life again. Stories of little kids being adopted by parents who lost their kids , or people devoting their lives to helping others – all these was inspiring. And then finally i remember my friend’s mom who lost her hand when her flats fell down in that earthquake, but continued to do her favorite things and made lovely dresses. She doesn’t spend her days in self-pity, she does the things she loves, laughs, sings, reads, watches her favorite tv shows and remains happy.
I think i too will try to shake off the worry and do the things that makes me happy.