Experiencing an earthquake as a fence-sitter
The recent earthquake in Nepal killed thousands leading to mass destruction in the country but to it’s neighbor, India, the story may not be of destruction but of the fun of sharing the experience on social media.
11:46 am, 26th April, 2015
It was a usual Saturday, my mom and I were having our late breakfast in bed (allowing our self to soak in the spirit of an indolent weekend). As I slowly had a nauseating feeling creep through, I thought I was fainting, when I looked at my mother. she too had a clueless expression on her face and we both stared at each other. The tremors lasted for close to two minutes which meant it was a long time for us to keep hoping it stopped. Though there were no apparent movement in the room to clearly mark it as an earthquake as our fan continued to rotate and everything seemed fine except the glass panes on our window, somebody started shouting, “It’s an earthquake! come out!” but then an earthquake hitting us it nothing short of a dream. Conch shells were blown (this is a Hindu tradition supposed to summon the Gods in heaven to stop the wreckage on earth)as the tremors continued but no one walked out to the open play ground. After the tremors stopped both mom and started breathing again, seated at the same spot.
The first thing I did after the episode was to switch on my television to a news channel. The news channel had live debate going on but the host abruptly started pealing into the camera saying an earthquake just hit and we experienced it in the studio. Everyone in the country was too shocked to stock in the earthquake. When I switched to a national channel though, it was broadcasting stories of repeated tremors being felt in Northern India. However reports of the tremor hitting Eastern India was yet to reach them.
The sheer excitement of having experienced something as mammoth as an earthquake that has yet not been reported held a different degree of feeling.
So what is the first thing you do when you realize you have been hit by earthquake tremors and that you experienced it for the first time in your life? You may guess taking stock of the damage but that is very different from what I or any other individual around my age did. I checked my college Whatsapp group to confirm it was an earthquake. Next, post ‘I felt it too.’
As images of destruction got shared across, I realized the intensity of the earthquake, an air of sangfroid hung as I realized I was safe and so was my family. The foremost feeling I had was,