I was worried to go back to school, not because I was afraid of the earthquake, not because now onwards I would have been teaching under the tents. I was worried about the fact that many of my students have lost their homes because of the earthquake and those whose houses haven’t collapsed, also have seen the cracks in their houses they are living in. Many of my children are still living under tents.
I was learning and planning every word that I would say to them when I would meet them after the school resumes.
I was researching on how I can help them, taking different training. In short, I left no stones unturned
Will they come to school? This was another question that was haunting me.
May 31st, the school resumed. I reached my school. I was counting them one by one. Is everyone coming or not? Gradually, I could see them coming with a big smile on their face. They were happy to be back at school. Though still some of them were missing, most of my kids showed up. I was excited as the number had exceeded my expectation.
After few minutes the scenario of the ground changed. We had all of our students from nursery to grade ten on the ground under a big tarpaulin. Children were happy meeting their friends after a long gap. Though some of them were still afraid of the quake, they seemed excited to share their earthquake tales. Some of them made fun of the quake moments with their innocent caricatures.
Amid all these, one of my eighth graders came towards me and shared her realizations that nowadays she reads more books and tries to find out the reason of earthquake, the structure of the earth. By now, she has been able to find out that earthquake doesn’t harm us but the infrastructures. She, with a deep sigh shard we, humans have made our houses without following the guidelines, so we had to face the problem and added she is researching on the proper way of building houses.
Then what she shared really made me thank the earthquake, though I don’t want even any aftershocks again. She then held my hand and told, “Miss, this earthquake made me realize that Gods don’t have any power. We shouldn’t believe in God but we should believe in ourselves. If God was powerful, then he would have of course saved His house from being collapsed. He neither saved His own house nor ours. But many people came to help us in our problem.”
Listening to her realizations and her findings thrilled me. Please don’t take me negative here. Historical monuments were our privileges and the destruction has made me sad. They were the treasures of our nation. Here, what really has touched me is the realization of my child; that child who used to pray each time to God for her results. I could see her going to temple every morning before going to give her exams, even at the day of results and in every other minor incident. She is really good at her studies but whenever I would congratulate her on her hard work and success, she used to give all the credit to God and luck.
Shouldn’t I be happy now? Shouldn’t I thank the quake when I had been trying to make her realize the same for last two years? Finally, she realized it wasn’t the power of God that was helping her but it the power that was within her that she was being able to put her effort into her studies and was being able to bring good results.
The disaster gave us sorrow but it also gave us lessons and new perspectives in life. We looked at the negatives, but now let’s think about the positives that it has given. As far as my realization, I learned children are in trauma but amid their fear they also have learned some positive life lessons. We must tend those sprouting lessons. Let’s not miss finding out what they have learned.