Earthquake 7/11

The list.
Things to do before you turn 20:
Make out with a girl. [√]
Make out with a guy.[√]
Taste Alcohol. [√]
Choose a career. [√]
Experience Snowfall. [X]
Experience seismic waves aka strong earthquake. CHECK:Dated 7th September.

It happened on the night of September 7th 2011 when the world was awake (who sleeps at 23:34 these days neway?). After a heavy dinner of Dal and Roti; the only things you can afford with ongoing inflation, I tuned in my IPod to listen to Adele’s Rolling in the deep. At the precise moment she was about to hit a high note, the seismic waves surrounded me. The thundering skyline and shock waves beneath me, made every muscle and bone in my body shake in the same manner as that of the marble laden floor beneath me.For the first time in my life Earth and I were one body with two souls moving in unison.

The first time.

It was unlike other quakes I had felt before. Due to my uncanny memory I precisely remember what I was doing at that time. My first quake was the one that came this January; I was sitting on the pot taking a dump in my 2BHK apartment at Gurgaon. I started vibrating; luckily I was nearly done and came out pretty fast but that quake was nothing like this one.

The speaking tree.

On a philosophical note, this quake was life changing; it made me ponder on all the possibilities and opportunities that are out there,of all those unsaid words that need to be said. Things that are yet to be experienced like love, marriage, children, mid life crisis,the soon to be released Ra-One and I don’t even know the real identity of Gossip Girl.

I am the kind of person who plays safe, never drinks and drives, never gets into fights, always crosses the road after looking left and right, always wear a Lichi flavoured condom (be responsible), in short Ihave never put my life on the thin line between life and death.This quake made me realizehow little control we have over life. We always go by a plan looking out for tomorrow (future) and ignoring the present. We can work all day, earn big bucks and live in the skyscrapers. But every now and then look around you and ask yourself have you said it? Have you said it to your loved ones, how much you love them, how you cannot imagine a life without them as they change your life. Have you said it?

Only the young.

I picked up my phone and ran downstairs as it seemed to be the most suitable thing to do during an earthquake and joined the rest of my neighbourhood. Remember kids, always run out of the house screaming at the top of your lungs whenever there is an earthquake. But where were the young? The road was filled with middle aged men and women, even the bed ridden Mr. Malhotra was out lying on the street. It struck me like a bolt of lightning;I am not young anymore and now belong to the category of these men and women who are out here saving their lives instead of updating status on Twitter and Facebook.

“Baarish mein har saal….”
A crowd had gathered around my neighbour’s house. It appeared Jumsumtak had died. Jumsumtak was in the balcony when the quake hit Delhi. Amid all the chaos and confusion that came with those seismic waves Jumsumtak couldn’t handle the pressure and jumped off the balcony. Alas! Now there is one less Chihuahua in the world.

This whole life and death philosophy had put my mind to unrest so I decided to just go back to my apartment and read some quirky tweets which I am sure would have flooded my time line by now. I was on my way when I heard my neighbourhood aunties, discussing the cause of the earthquake. After a headstrong discussion they all finally came to the conclusion “ki baarish mein har saal aata hai.” (It comes every year during monsoon)Everyone here has a scientific knowhow.

I was approximately 50 feet away from the lift when I heard the screech of the van; our very own national news channel team had arrived. Unfortunately they intercepted the emergency call made by Ms. Silky after her dog Jumsumtak jumped off the balcony. They thought Jumsumtak was a man. Honest mistake. The news channel tried to make their trip useful by interviewing people,“Aapko zalzale ke baad kaisa mahsoos ho raha hai?” (So how are you feeling now?)

So now we know what’s going to be on the National Television later during the night. I would have presented my inputs but as I have an oily skin and haven’t had time for a face wash, I took a rain check. So here I was in the crowded lift where I met my neighbours Mr. and Mrs. Pojamal. After an awkward courteous acknowledgement which was followed by a long awkward silence, I asked Mr. Poja’s son, Poja junior (I am not a social person so I have no idea what they are calling kids these days) if he got scared.

He replied negatively. So I asked if anyone else in the family was scared. “Papa kehte hain ki woh already shaadishuda hain mummy se milne ke baad unhein kisi cheese se dar nahn lagta.”(My father says that marriage was the scariest thing to happen to him, he doesn’t get scared anymore) I guess that was the last time Mr. Pojamalwas seen alive.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..Sound of Vibrator

As I was about to enter my apartment, I met my next door neighbours’ teenage son Shankar. I asked him about his earthquake experience. “Dude,it felt like a vibrator”, he said in his I am born in India but have a natural in born American accent way.I always thought Shankar was a boy but with kids experimenting all kinds of things who knows what they have used and at what places?

While I was going through the highs and lows of my life in the aftermath of the earthquake, the tweetarati and facebook users (why isn’t there any cool name for facebook users) were buzzed with this earthquake phenomenon. Apart from the basic clichés of Rajnikant’s phone on vibration mode there were some new ones too – Anna demanding that Earthquake should be under the purview of the Lokpal, some were asking for P. Chidambaram’s resignation andsome were asking if any organisation has yet taken responsibility of the earthquake. All in all this earthquake experience was better than spending your night with packaged food and Simi Select’s “India’s most desirable.”

Bhanuj Saharan