At around 4:30am this morning, as most of you are already aware of, there was a 4.3 Richter scale tremor felt in Delhi. But what you probably don’t know is, how the people from my colony reacted
Three seconds. That’s all it took of me to rush outside to the main road from my cozy little bed inside. Pretty impressive. Except that I was still in my “flowery” boxers which my Naga neighbors giggled at incessantly.
I was also not wearing my specs. Hence being myopic, everything around me was blurred. Hence I could not look at what those Naga girls were wearing so that I too could giggle back at them (Trust me, all I wanted to do was giggle).
Nu Mateii’s son and daughter, Sanga & Mimi, were also among the people who rushed outside immediately. Unlike the rest of us, they weren’t sleeping; they were watching a “Dragonballz” series of animation. When the tremor commenced, Mimi punched her brother thinking it was “something else”. I guess it was Sanga’s blank expression and the fact that the entire room shook that finally convinced her it was not “what she thought”…
My immediate neighbor, the Guptas, didn’t even budge. They slept peacefully throughout the entire tremor. I don’t blame aunty Gupta for not waking up to the tremor because she has nearly passed her prime, but I am extremely disappointed in Sandy, their Pomeranian, who slept through the entire tremor too! Our dogs on the other hand immediately woke up and rushed outside along with us, barking and warning everybody else about the tremor, whereas Sandy proved to be completely useless. Stray breed – 1, Pedigree – 0. Yay!
Our landlord, Kuldeep Singh and his family, too slept through the entire tremor. When I asked him this morning about it, he told me that he did felt it but was in the middle of a beautiful dream so he chucked the idea of running outside and went back to sleep . You gotta love his composure.
Upstairs, everybody too came running out of their rooms. Apart from the Guptas and our colony Landlord, the only other people who did not feel the tremor was the last house in our small (and close-knitted) colony, occupied by the death-metal band members of “IIIrd Sovereign”. Yes, none of us were surprised they didn’t even feel the tremor, after all, how would they feel a mere 4.3 Richter scale tremor when they were playing their gig everyday in their own private studio at a level of 7.5 on the Richter scale?
We waited on the streets for around 10 minutes under the freezing Delhi winter morning, in case there was an “after-shock”. We didn’t even know if tremors HAVE after-shocks, but none of us were willing to take that risk.
Harish, another resident of our colony, asked me what to do in case there’s an earthquake. I told him nonchalantly that there wasn’t much one can do except run as freaking fast as possible outside and stand away from all tall buildings. He said, “I know thaaaat yaar. But other than that, what can weeee do?”.
Having suddenly woken up from a very good dream and with the cold morning air really starting to get on my nerves, I snapped and told him to “calculate the intensity of the seismic waves and then rotate his body in the opposite direction of the circular waves with the same intensity so as to neutralize the effects of the wave”. His eyes widened and he went “Ahhh…” while nodding knowingly. And then a brief second later, something clicked and he looked at me again and went “bastaaaard…”
I couldn’t help picturing my good friends Rob & Jes with whom I spent the previous evening with, and imagining what they were doing during that moment.
They have six kids already (I like to exaggerate a bit), and they are what we Mizos would call a chhangchhia family The mental image of Rob running outside with all six kids clinging on to him while clutching Jes with one hand and the guitar with the other hand… Priceless!
When we all went inside our respective houses 10 minutes later, I took my wallet from my desk and placed them under my pillow immediately. I kept a lot of other things by my side too, like my mobile phone, spectacles, a file-folder containing all my original certificates, a warm jacket, and of course my most cherished possession: my hard-disk, so that I could grab them all the next time I had to dash outside. An earthquake may destroy (touch wood!) my computer, my washing machine, my mobile phone etc. But all those are replaceable. The data on my hard-disk are irreplaceable, with a sentimental value that no amount of money can ever buy.
And oh, I changed my “flowery” boxers and wore my “masculine” CK boxers instead, in case I had to run outside again.
What would YOU take along with you if there is such an earthquake (again, touch-wood!). And what were you doing during the tremor of this morning? It would be interesting to hear your take on this morning’s mild scare.
All the best trying to sleep tonight