Monday, March 12, 2012

A year

It has been a very long year since March 11 2011. The day the earth shook in Japan has changed lives. It changed ours for sure. It was my first earthquake. You don't forget the day your house, the one you walked into as a newly married bride, shakes like a leaf trembling in the wind. It scars you just that wee bit.

You realize that possessions are just that, possessions. Life, yours and those of your loved ones, are far more valuable. When you are running out of your house with just your passport, home clothes, a coat to ward off the cold and your wallet, you realize, that is the sum total of your life in an alien country.

The aftershocks were far worse. That night I didn't sleep. Every few minutes the house shook. And trust me, those are long minutes in your mind, even if they are miniscule seconds of real time.

The house makes a peculiar creaking sound, one that has the potential to never go away from the recesses of your mind. I don't hear that noise anymore and everyday since our move to Hong Kong, I thank the Lord for it.

At least two people have told me, in their stupendous ignorance, that earthquakes are cool. Until you experience one, you will never understand the value of having a stable house around you, whose walls don't shake. So one minute you could be having a shower and the next minute, the shower and its environs are shaking. Your home is supposed to be your refuge from the world, not a cage.

You learn to adapt though, especially if you have no choice. Aftershocks, becoming a way a of life. Imagine that.

The radiation story was a whole other deal. I am still waiting for Fukushima to implode like Chernobyl. I pray that it never does.

I am writing about the quake after a very long time. A year has passed and sometimes, it still feels like yesterday.

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