Luck redefined: a story of a teenager

23-09-2015

"One day I was just doing some work in the kitchen when all of the sudden the earthquake turned our house into a demolition site"

My name is Ashok Maharjan.   I am from a middle class family and I live with my parents and my brother. Before the earthquake we were leading a happy and comfortable  life. My father works as a mason and this career enabled him to pay for the basic necessities, as well as my monthly school tuition.

One day I was just doing some work in the kitchen when all of the sudden the earthquake turned our house into a demolition site. When my brother and I realised what was happening, we rushed outside. Once outside we saw houses collapsing one after another and all we could do is stand there helplessly. When the earthquake finally stopped, many people just broke down in tears and panicked. I thanked God that I found my parents and brother safe and sound. However, my pregnant sister lived in another village, and due to the network problems caused by the earthquake, it took quite some time to reach her. Luckily once we reached her we found her to be in good health.

Unfortunately, not everyone shared our luck. Our neighbours were buried under the rubble of what used to be their home. Other neighbours frantically searched the rubble, trying to dig out the wreckage as they shouted for help and tools. While they were digging, a ceiling of another building fell on top of the rubble, making it even harder to rescue my buried neighbours. Later that night we learned that our dear neighbours did not survive the earthquake, and they died a horrible death being buried alive.

That night my father made a tent for us to sleep in. We lost everything in the earthquake and we didn’t even have food to eat that night. We slept in that tent for the next 15 days until the next quake shook us.  During that earthquake, my mother broke her leg, and we were so stressed that we weren’t able to pay the hospital bill. We ultimately survived on the aid provided by people who came to help our village.  I’m so thankful for the help that was granted to us. At this moment life is still not comfortable, but at least we have shelter from the wind and the rain. I had lost all my school clothes and books, but luckily I was able to borrow a uniform from a friend who had already graduated.  I am currently in grade 10 and doing my best in school. Although it’s a bit uneasy at times having to share my bedroom/study room with my family members, I try to cope as best as I can.  

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