Baishak 12, 11:56 am
Fast and Furious 7 was on my most awaited movie list. With its release, I even thought of traveling Chitwan from Lamjung. The distance was around 100 kilo-meters but it was the nearest movie theatre and I was thinking of catching the show in-spite of having exam but eventually I did not.
After completing exams, I traveled to KTM to finish some of my pending works. A day later, I had a plan to meet my school friend. While being dubious of place, we came up with a movie plan and decided to watch Fast and Furious 7 which was surprisingly on her list too. After a lot of surfing on the net I was able to get tickets for 11:30 show which seemed to be favourable for both. It was 11:40 when we met at RNAC, and headed towards the theatre. On the way to civil mall, I asked her, have you been to Dharahara? Dharahara is the watch tower which was in the heart of the Kathmandu city. She said no, I replied me neither, why not go there if we do not get the tickets, I said and she agreed. It was 11:45 when we reached the ticket counter and luckily the desk officer said the show had just started and you wouldn’t miss more than 5 minutes and I have very good seats for you.
We got our tickets and reached the 7th floor burning our legs out, after few minutes of show, just when Van Diesel landed in Tokyo, I felt the ground below shaking. I had my eyes glued on the screen and how stupid of me as I was telling myself that it would just stop in no time. But back to back there was equally big aftershocks, and then the people in the theatre started crying loud and calling the name of gods. It is then I started worrying, thinking further followed by petrifying thoughts that I won’t be able escape from the 7th floor of the building. I told myself that I would be killed one way or the other because I was trapped on the 7th floor and second the were around three hundred people so the only thing that came to my mind was falling building cracking open my skull or stampede. At the same time, I also had my family’s image thinking this is it. I was partly receiving voices from people in the hall praying mercy for their lives, and holding people’s hands trying to settle down.
After few seconds, everyone rushed toward emergency exit door. We too followed the crowd. Ascending down, the tiles were falling from ceiling one after another, mall glass were cracking and shattering as if the drones were dropping the bombs, while whole building was doing a belly dance. Finally, we succeeded in escaping the building safely to the street. After few steps towards the watch tower, we reached Sundhara where the watch tower just collapsed due to earthquake, everyone were rushing saying “dharahara palteo” (watchtower just got collapsed) and there are hundreds of people trapped inside. People were running with bloody head, and some with bare feet.
Within no time there were plenty of choppers hovering in the sky. We stopped in a nearby place which was safe enough to catch our restless breath. There you go, there were back to back tremors and big enough to scare the holy man inside every one and endless tremors kept on following. After an hour we decided to go to much safer place, meanwhile we were constantly trying to call our near and dear ones but cell phone was not working. On the other hand, it was a surprise to see the cellular data working and at that very moment I made the best use of it by updating my safety on social media and I remember writing , “I am safe and sound”. We reached King’s way after sometime, and sat there for few hours as a result of fatigue. My friend came to pick us up even at such situation, and we managed to drop her off and came out to see places in the city and meet friends and family.
After 3rd day, when the tremors were subtle enough, I travelled to Chitwan to drop my younger siblings to safety. After that, in spite of family denial, I traveled to Kathmandu as whole county was suffering from humanitarian crisis and I wanted to contribute as much as I could. My senses did not allow me to stay home watching sad news on television and rushing out of the house to safety after every aftershock.
So I traveled back to Kathmandu after a successful fundraising campaign at Chitwan. Immediately at the same day of arrival in Kathmandu I joined the donation for Nepal campaign initiated by one of my brother. I served to my best as field coordinator and volunteer coordinator. As a part of my work, I along the team traveled to different districts of central and western Nepal for about a month without a day rest. Through our fundraising campaign, we collected US 40,000$ reached 11 different villages with emergency relief supplies, touched the lives of 5500 inhabitants, made over 300 temporary shelters and helped 3 schools.
(In the pictures, it’s a 3D glass that was given for movie and a glass that I picked, trying escaping the quake from mall, which I have preserved to show to my grandchildren)
Categories: Photos and Stories