Upeachya Kansakar: “I lay out on the ground alone for what seemed like hours”

Dried chilies

Dried chilies

It was just like any ordinary day. I was at home, enjoying some alone time. I was getting hungry and thinking of going to the kitchen to cook some food when suddenly everything in my room started shaking.  At first I thought it was just a minor earthquake and that it would be over quickly. But I was wrong.

The floor started shaking even more dangerously. I rushed down the stairs and out to the ground. Then the ground stopped shaking. I tried to stand up but it started shaking again. I was scared, especially because my mom and dad were out and I was alone. I didn’t even have my mobile phone with me.

I lay out on the ground alone for what seemed like hours. I wanted to call my parents but was too scared to go inside my house to get my phone. Finally I decided to go in and call my dad. After many tries, he finally picked up the phone. I was so glad to hear his voice that I almost cried. He told me to stay calm and I told him to stay safe and take care of Mom and not to worry about me. Just hearing his voice made me feel stronger.

Even though I didn’t have to face the physical impacts of the earthquake, it did change me both emotionally and mentally. I used to feel that life was easy, but after the earthquake I realized how unpredictable our lives are. I found out how in a minute, a disaster can take away everything we have. I realized how fragile the human body is and how our house, which we built with so much hard earned money, could collapse and take our lives with it. I discovered the power of nature and saw its dark and ugly side.

The earthquake did have some positive impacts on me, however. It taught me to be ready to face everything that life throws at us. It taught me never to brag about the things we have, since they can be taken away in an instant. Most importantly, it taught me the value of family. I can’t even begin to describe how happy I was to see my mom and dad after the earthquake. There were aftershocks for many days afterwards, but whenever they were by my side, no earthquakes could scare me.

Another thing that the earthquake did was to bring all the people together. People risked their lives to rescue the victims. Volunteers worked day and night to help the ones who had lost their homes or family. I got to know my neighbors better and made some new friends. I did some volunteering and through that I learned the joy of helping others. I realized how our smallest efforts could lessen other people’s pain, and maybe even bring a smile to their faces.

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