Emerging from a long, deep sleep, relief surged through me and the day of the Nepal earthquake began to pass before my eyes automatically.
It was a cooler-than-usual noon for April in Kathmandu with heavy clouds in sky and a gusty breeze bringing a nip to the air. I was about to check out of the hotel in Thamel, standing on the second floor of a five-story apartment, I suddenly heard a throaty rumble and felt a ripple beneath me. With a certain reluctance to conjure up any disasters, It did took me a couple of seconds longer to understand why people were yelling out “earthquake”.
Before having time to think about moving or not, I had been dragged down onto the bottom floor by a Nepali boy with a rude yet generous manner, he then urged me desperately cover my head with hands while leaning against a swaying pillar to control the trembling in his body. Until now, I could still feel the concrete slab floor rising up and down and had an acute sense of waiting for the ceiling falling in chunks on our heads.
For a moment everyone seemed to have been deprived of the power of speech, forming the opening syllables first of one word, then of the other, over and over again as if we did not know which word we were going to say. As the voices of the praying for heaven’s mercy rose, I was just aware that I joined a huddle of men, surging forward to an open space of a plaza in Thamel.
To be honest, I was not obviously in distress after striking by quake until I found that I could not reach one of my friends who was trapped in a mountain area where the situation was reported to be worse. Several villages were ruined as the houses buried beneath the landslides caused by quake, large cracks in the road stopped cars moving forward, and the fires were threatening. In their case, there were no any channels to contact outside world. For me, the mere hope was I were there with my friend who had already spent 7 days traveling in order to see me in Kathmandu, from a small town in mainland China to Tibet, from Tibet to Zhangmu, a border town of China and Nepal. The earthquake happened just two hours after my friend’s departure of Zhangmu, and we were on the last lap to see each other, according to which the last 80 kilometers between us suddenly looked like the distance between heaven and earth.
” For you, a thousand times over” She never said this to me, but she did, indeed. I felt extremely regretful for what I had done with the intention of hurting her once in the past while swearing not to shout to her anymore if I could have a chance to make it up. Wandering aimless around the street of Thamel, that was my first time feeling lost over there, fortunately, I could still receive message from my master, Tianzhen, who was the only person ensured me that everything would turn out all right as long as I kept a peaceful and tranquil mind. Master’s words never failed to save me from the mental suffering and the miracles happened to those who believed in them, I eventually encountered my friend in a crossing I passed several times in Thamel, gasped with surprise and relief. That was the second noon of the earthquake and only by then the tears filled and leapt from my eyes.
About one hour after our reconnection, an aftershock measured 7.1 magnitude came along, however, It was not a shocking to us since we held each other as a whole to be stronger than the quake, in other words, It was the powerful love no quake could ever shake and the friendship sealed in adversity would definitely support us overcoming any other frustrations in the rest of our life.
Sometimes, we do not know what we have had till it’s gone. For people who I love and love me, I did appreciate the experience of surviving Nepal earthquake. Even though I am not able to use all my life to love you as you have done to me, I would not, for sure, take anything from you for granted. Let us just go from here to learn loving and being loved. It is probably the only guarantee keeps us from shaking in the turbulent years that full of disasters either from nature or human beings.
Photo by 小弥头(Xiao Niu), Kathmandu, Nepal