Sat, 03 Jun, 2023

Uncertain Life, Unexpected Earthquake and Unbearable Pain

By Ashmita Kunwar

Photo: Historical monument Darahara demolished by earthquake. Nepalese Pride ruined away. All Photos By: Ashmita Kunwar

“Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” - John Lennon

prayfornepalI have never qualified, not even assumed, that life is this uncertain and nature is so hard-hearted. People  most often say that this is the 21st century and so, nothing is impossible. But, I realized that it is not always true. Take the case of our lives where natural disasters like earthquakes are in front of us and there is no way to stop them. It's impossible to stop the shocks that took the life of more than seven thousand  people, destroying their dreams and separating them from their loved ones.

Few months ago, I visited people who live by the roadside under open sky because for me, they were different than people like us who have a roof to live under. But, never had I imagined that soon, I will be in the same state. [] Nature is unpredictable and so, I was compelled. I was compelled to live in the same state, under the open sky, where I had to fear for my life. Earlier, I was amazed to see the people living by the roadside sleeping, cooking in open but for a week I was in the same condition in order to save myself from the earthquake (because of which I am sick till today).  People were living a normal life and it was going smoothly but suddenly, those vibrations down from the earth took away everything dear to us, along with them.

[caption id="attachment_6570" align="aligncenter" width="864"]Earthquake compelled me to live outside home, under this tent for few days Earthquake compelled me to live outside home, under this tent for few days[/caption]

During my childhood, I had studied that we needed a house to protect us from rain, wind and, sun but I never knew that there will be days where we will be horrified to put our step inside that same house. We ran out as fast as possible from our house, our home, where we had been living for so long. Nature is something we will never have control over; many scientists have accomplished incredible things but, no one has ever succeeded in controlling natural calamities like earthquake. We don’t even know when it will occur next.

It was Saturday, a holiday, a day to sit with family, go for outing, visit relatives, meet with friends, catch a movie, a special day to make plans for and enjoy. However, nothing happened as planned. Something terrible, sinister, frightening, unusual (I'm short for adjectives here) happened instead - a ghost sent by the nature that killed thousands of people, that took away parents, leaving their small ones all alone, that separated the loved ones, unbearable pain, ahh! Who will look after those small children who lost their parents? What will happen / happened to those who have nothing to eat and no place to live? How would the loved ones spend their life in the absence of their significant other? So many questions and not a single answer to them.

I used to see people facing such kind of disasters on TV, and I never felt their pain. A different country, a different region, a different group of people – I never connected with them. I simply changed the channel. I went for entertainment, taking no notice of their pain. But, these days I realize their pain, our pain. I feel for them. I had changed the channel countless number of times, but now I realize what they must have gone through. My experiences have led me to understand what pain is. I understand what my fellow countrymen must be going through right now. Those living in a city like Kathmandu, at least get food to eat but, condition is worse  in places like Sindupalchowk, Gorkha where everything was razed to the ground, where not a single rescue team has reached as of yet. Though, I am safe, I am not happy deep down from my heart. I am physically fine, but it has affected my psyche and of millions others like me. Seeing and reading of people crying for food and tent and their departed loved ones, leaves me broken. I sit and wonder about these people.

[caption id="attachment_6567" align="aligncenter" width="961"]Alert given by UNICEF for upcoming monsoon Alert given by UNICEF for upcoming monsoon[/caption]

Earthquake has given us so much grief that it will take very long to recover from it. Even more pain is in store for places in Terai where the monsoon is set to bring landslides, as it does every year. And on top of that, UNICEF has already alerted that monsoon could bring another crisis of diseases. Now, I realize that there is no way to stop nature but we can try to prevent from the consequences that occur. We could protect us better. We could get ready for what is to come.

Few days ago, before the earthquake I used to dream big of doing this and that in my life. At this moment, however, I sit alone and wonder about those people who have nothing to eat, no place to live, no family to accompany them. How are they going to live? What is the future of Nepal? Will those historical monuments rise again? Is the government capable to bring us back in the same condition as before? Will we ever get to the state that we were in, or rather, will we be in a better state?

[caption id="attachment_6569" align="aligncenter" width="532"]Some list of countries that helped us in this crucial period, thanks to everyone List of countries that helped us in this crucial period. Thanks to everyone![/caption]

Government should help us in this time of need. President, Prime ministers, Ministers, leaders, all the members of constituent assembly, should feel the pain of the people. Taking in account the earlier activities of these chosen representatives, one might argue if these guys even have a heart to feel the pain. We request you, the government. It's not a time to fight for your own or your parties' interest. It's a time to fight alongside, hand in hand, and help build our country from scratch. Many countries are helping us with large economical support, please utilize it properly. If you even have an ounce of humanity left, then please do not misuse the fund. Please keep your selfishness aside. If not forever, just for a moment until we are through this tragedy. And let us all work together to build Nepal. A new, better Nepal from the ruins that we are in right now. Let us be a perfect example to the whole world. It is possible if we stand together with a feeling of unity. Jay Nepal!