Anish Luitel: “I turned to see whether Dharahara had withstood the shock”

Street Venders

Street Venders

I’ll never forget the moment the earthquake hit. I was walking down the middle of a pedestrian bridge at Sundhara. For the first 2 or 3 seconds, I didn’t know what was happening. But then, when I looked around and realized it was an earthquake, I couldn’t decide what to do. I rushed down the stairs and sat down and covered my head. It was the most terrifying moment I’d faced in my whole life.

Soon, everyone was out in the streets. I turned to see whether Dharahara had withstood the shock, but I saw nothing standing there. The historic nine-storied tower had crashed to pieces in the flash of a second.

I immediately took out my cell phone and dialed the numbers of my mother, father, brother, and some friends. But all the phone networks were down, which raised my fear to the next level. I couldn’t inform anyone that I was safe and didn’t know what might have happened in my hometown. Later, I got a call from my brother who told me that that everyone at home was okay.

I learned a lot of things on Baisakh 12, 2072 (April 15, 2015). I realized that nothing can save us from natural disasters. I realized that fear is a dangerous weapon that can kill people. I saw a person who used to say that he was afraid of nothing, running for his life when the second quake hit a month later. I realized how unity in diversity works when I saw people start immediately to organize rescue campaigns. And finally, I realized that humanity rises beyond its boundaries in a time of need.

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