Pratik Dhungel: “If a man says he is not afraid to die, he is either lying or he’s a Gurkha”

Village School Classroom

Classroom at Shree Mahankal Secondary School

Every time someone talks about the earthquake, an old saying comes to mind; “If a man says he is not afraid to die, he is either lying or he’s a Gurkha.” Well, we do have a proud history, but the earthquake certainly put the fear of death into us. While we were out in the open trying to be safe from the aftershocks, I could see the fear of death in the eyes of all who were around me. While the fear struck me as well, I was frustrated by the routine of it all.

And then I realized that disaster can strike at any time, so why fear the inevitable? We live and we die and that’s the way it is, so why fear death! I overcame the fear and just thought, “Okay! Bring it on! I’m afraid of you no more.”

I was always worried about earthquakes and even told my parents that we should move somewhere open (which we didn’t do) and then the inevitable took place. I will do my best to move out of Kathmandu. It’s a wonderful place to be, but the earthquake fueled my determination to leave!

The earthquake left me with regrets as well. I can’t see people getting hurt or begging or in pain. It just melts my heart! After the earthquake I wanted to help people but I didn’t, not that I didn’t feel like doing it, just because I thought I had no one from my neighborhood to go with me. But looking back, I feel that I should have taken the initiative.

I did help indirectly though. Our family donated money, clothes, food and Tripals and it made me happy because I had at least done something.

The most important lesson I learned from my experience is: “No matter what, all you have to do is to keep moving forward!” I rarely recall the earthquake! I’ll try to speak less about it and I’ll even try to forget the dates, because in your life you must move on, always!

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