25th April 2015, a date that is engraved in my memory along with many other happy dates. Everyone has their sad story of what happened on11:56am on that fateful day. For me it was a regular Saturday Morning, hurrying myself doing some laundry before the electricity goes off, having some Saturday morning must-haves jeri-swari, I could hear the sound of the vacuum cleaner in the background. Just a regular day, however, there was something about the air that day, it was noticeably cloudy and had some kind go smog in the air. “It’s never sunny when I have a day off” – I muttered.
The first Saturday since I came back from my Holiday I was particularity aching to stay home and relax. Wash off the henna on your head, the stench is giving me a headache shouted my husband and banged the door of our bedroom which is on the 4th floor of our house. I laughed at him and played “fluorescent adolescence “and went to wash my hair. As soon as I finished, the lights went off in the toilet. it was a matter of few seconds to be precise. I changed and closed the door to my bedroom which leads to a small balcony with the stairs to go downstairs. “Pookie, let’s go downstairs” I called out to my 1-year-old pug who was taking a post-lunch nap on the balcony. Just when I closed the door to my bedroom, the house started shaking. I wish I had enough words to describe that particular feeling. for the first few seconds, I thought I was dizzy. But then the flower vases outside my room started falling mercilessly on the floor and it was then I realized it was an earthquake. I was in a state of despair, shock. My dog was scared, his already big eyes looked as if it was about to pop from his skull. He didn’t know what to do, nor did I. Pookie got too scared and he hurried down the stairs. I reminded myself not to lose composure I was constantly uttering ” Oh my god, what the hell is this” That 56 seconds, which seemed and still seems like an eternity was the most traumatizing moment of my life. One thought that came to my head was “I am going to die alone” as I was alone in that flat.
As the earthquake subsided, I hurried down the stairs to see my mother in law holding my two helpers by the kitchen door, my husband holding on to his 83-year-old grandmother. I was scared for the first time then. I looked at the house, everything scattered everywhere. My husband pulled me towards the frame of the door. we huddled up together until we had the first aftershock, a 7.2 rector scale earthquake. We wanted to run downstairs but it was out grandmother, who is paralyzed in her one leg. We slowly got her down from the 3rd floor to the ground and then to an open space before our house. After that, it was aftershocks after aftershocks. It never seemed to end. I had left my phone on charge. I was in no condition to go back to the house on the 4th floor to get my phone. But I was worried now, about my parents, my grandparents who are almost immobile, my sister everyone. Pookie had his face buried in my chest and was whining poor thing. we were sitting on the ground in despair.
We decided to take shelter in our relative’s house who was kind enough to open his gates for 21 of us. We camped on their front lawn. We then started getting news of Dharahara collapsing, my heart sank as soon as I heard that news. A few years ago, my sister and I did a competition as to who climbs that ancient historical monument faster. Then soon we heard the news that all 3 durbar squares have been affected. I had contacted my family but then and all of them were safe and sound. I sighed with relief. I realized how lucky I was to have both sides of my family safe and sound with no property damaged. Because there were thousands of people who had lost their lives, property or both so as to say. I decided to sleep with my husband’s grandmother in our car for that day and much more to come… That night was tough. We ate what we could get. Throughout the night, I occasionally turned the light of our car to check on my grandmother in law. With the sound soft snore in the background and “see you again – piano cover by Wiz Kafila” I tossed sides with my eyes glued to the sky waiting for a better tomorrow