The Earthquake that Rocked Us [भैंचालो जसले हामीलाई हल्लायो]

[This is a bilingual post. यो पोस्ट दुइ भाषामा छ । Read a news report on the quake here]

The scary thing (or good, depending upon how you see things) is that the epicenter of the 6.8 earthquake that rocked Kathmandu and eastern Nepal this evening was, according to the US Geological Survey, 272 kilometers away (east) from Kathmandu. (68 km north west of Gangtok, Sikkim, India). It was so terrifying. (Personally speaking, the Quake Moment was the most scariest I have experienced in a looong time.) Imagine the situation if Kathmandu WERE the epicenter! And think about the people living in mud-and-stone homes in the hills of eastern Nepal that is close to the epicenter. [Three people have died in Kathmandu, and two in Dharan, after the British Embassy compound wall collapsed. Many people have injured themselves as they tried to ran out of buildings.]

डरलाग्दो कुरा (या राम्रो किनकी त्यो हेराइमा भर पर्छ) चाहिँ के भने अघि साँझ काठमान्डू र पूर्वी नेपाल हल्लाउने ६.८ रेक्टर स्केलको भुकम्पको केन्द्रबिन्दू, अमेरिकी जि‌ओलोजिकल सर्भेका अनुसार, काठमान्डूभन्दा २७२ किलोमिटर टाढा (पूर्व) थियो । (भारतीय राज्य सिक्किमको राजधानी गान्टोकबाट ६८ किमी उत्तर पश्चिम ।) ज्यादै डरलाग्दो थियो त्यो क्षण । (व्यक्तिगतरूपमा भन्नुपर्दा त्यो भैचालो क्षण मैले लामो समययता अनुभव गरेको सबैभन्दा डरलाग्दो क्षण थियो ।) कल्पना गर्नुस् भुकम्पको केन्द्रबिन्दू काठमान्डू भएको भए ! अनि सोच्नुस ती मानिसहरका बारेमा जो केन्द्रविन्दुभन्दा नजिकै पूर्वी नेपालका डाडाहरूमा माटो र ढुङ्गाका घरमा बसेका छन् । [काठमान्डूमा बेलायती दुतावासको पर्खाल ढल्दा तीनजना र धरानमा दुइको मृत्यु भएको छ । धेरै मानिहरूले चाहिँ भैचालो जादै गर्दा या गएपछि घरहरूबाट भाग्दा आफूहरूलाई घाइते तुल्याएका छन् ।]

I could have run out of the building but I didn’t. I had a strange faith with the building and was pretty much confident that that it would not go down. And I decided to remain there throughout. I grabbed one of the pillars that supported the building. I was hoping that the tremor wouldn’t last very long as it did (or at least felt like it did). When a building is trembling and you are thinking about your life and the closest person in your life who is living far away you feel like the tremor, even if it is a brief one, becomes an eternity.

म भवनबाट कुद्न पनि सक्थे अन्य सहकर्मिहरु जस्तै तर मैले त्यसो गरिन । ममा त्यो भवन प्रति अनौठो विश्वास थियो । र म लगभग विश्वस्त थिए त्यो घर ढल्दैन भन्नेमा । त्यसैले पुरै अवधि त्यहीँ रहने निर्णय गरें मैले । त्यो भवन अडिएका थुप्रै मध्येको एउटा थाम अठ्याएर म त्यो टेबुल मुनी नै बसीरहेँ । मेरा सहकर्मीहरु चिच्याउदै घरबाट निस्किरहेका थिए । कम्पन धेरै लामो समय चल्दैन भन्ने मेरो आशा थियो यद्यपी त्यो लामै समय चलेको महसुस चाहि भएकै हो । जव तपाईं बसेको भवन हल्लिरहेको हुन्छ र तपाईं आफ्नो जीवन अनि आफूभन्दा निकै टाढा रहेकी तपाईंको जिवकी सबैभन्दा नजिककी मान्छेलाई सम्झिरहनु भएको हुन्छ, त्यो कम्पन निकै थोरै समयकालागि भएपनि त्यो जिन्दगीभर भएजस्तो लाग्छ ।

As I was ducking under a table on the 3rd floor of my 6-storey office building, the images humanitarian catastrophe of Haiti earthquake (and those in Pakistan and China) came to my mind. And I also thought about major neighborhoods of Kathmandu- especially Ason area. I thought of making a call to her, tried in fact, AND even posting a tweet as I was experiencing the tremor!

६ तल्ले अफिस भवनको तेस्रो तल्लामा टेबुलमुनी लुकिरहदाँ मेरो दिमागमा हाइटी, पाकिस्तान र चीनमा हालैका बर्षहरूमा गएका भुकम्प र तिनले त्याएका मानवीय विपत्तिहरूका दृश्यको झल्को आयो । मैले काठमान्डूका प्रमुख बस्तीहरू-विशेषगरि असन क्षेत्र- पनि सम्झिएँ । कम्पन महसुस गरिरहदा उनलाई फोन गरौंकि जस्तो लाग्यो । एक दुइवटा ट्वीट पनि टाइप गर्ने कुरा मनमा नआएको होइन ! तर कम्पनको त्यो रोमान्चलाई मैले ट्वीट गरेर विथोल्न चाहिन ।

[Correction: I was in the 3rd floor of my office- not the 4th as I mentioned in my tweet. I have recently shifted my cubicle to the 3rd from the 4th. That fact had completely gone out of my mind in the aftermath of the shock].

[स‌ंशोधन: म अफिसको तेस्रो तल्लामा थिएँ, मैले ट्विटमा उल्लेख गरेजस्तो चौथोमा होइन । मैले मेरो क्युविकल केही अघि मात्र चौथोबाट त्यहा सारेको थिए । भुकम्प लगत्तै स्तब्धित भएको त्यो क्षण मेरो दिमागबाट त्यो तथ्य उडेछ ।]

Here are my tweets (beginning from the oldest one):
यहाँ छन् भुकम्प लगत्तैका मेरा ट्वीटहरू (सबैभन्दा पुरानो पहिला):

People are telling many interesting stories, as they always do, of where were they and what were they doing during the tremor. I find Suresh Niraula’s, my colleague at Kantipur daily, experience the most interesting. He said:

धेरै मानिस, त्यस्ता अवस्थामा सधै गरेझैं भैंचालो-जाँदा-म-यहाँ-यसो-गर्दैथिएँ रुचिपूर्ण कथाहरू एकअर्कालाई भनिरहेका छन् । कान्तिपुर पत्रिकाका मेरा सहकर्मी सुरेश निरौलाको यो अनुभव मलाई सबैभन्दा रुचिपूर्ण लाग्यो-

I was riding my bike to my office. The bike started trembling. I thought the tire got flattened. I stopped the bike and checked the tires. They were okay. I moved on. But the bike continued to tremble and almost went out of my control. Luckily a bike servicing center was nearby. I took the bike there. After hearing my story the boy there said: IT WAS EARTHQUAKE, DID YOU NOT NOTICE?

म बाइकमा अफिस जादै थिएँ । बाइकल हल्लिन थाल्यो । लाग्यो टायर पङ्चर भयो । बाइक रोकेँ र हेरें । दुबै पाङग्रा ठिकै थिए । अगाडी बढें । बाइक त फेरी हलिन थाल्यो र मेरो नियन्त्रण भन्दा बाहिर जान लाग्यो । धन्न बाइक सर्भिस सेन्टर नजिकै थियो । मैले बाइक त्याँ लगें । मेरो कुरा सुनेपछि फुच्चेले भन्यो- हैन भैचालो आयो नि । थाहा पाउनु भएन ?