To the Edge and Back
On the morning before the earthquake, I had left home at 8am, brainstorming story ideas for the next issue of ECS NEPAL. I had walked past people returning from their morning strolls, while others still enjoyed their second rounds of tea. Public buses were yelling out their last calls before departing. Vegetable vendors wrapped up after a morning of brisk business. It was a busy Saturday morning in Patan. The cool breeze that morning had me believing that this was going to be a good day just like any Saturday of our lives.
At 11:30 am, stuck at a writer’s workshop in Yela Maya Kendra, I was day-daydreaming about what lunch would be.
At 11:55 am, the lights suddenly went out and someone yelled out expletives.
At 11:56 am, the building rattled and swayed violently, showering us with dust and silt.
At 11:58 am, I was underneath a table trying to fathom what had come to pass
At 11:59 am, my shaking hands were still fumbling to find my phone. Was everyone ok?
At 12:04 pm, we rushed to an open ground knowing that everything had changed in an instant.
When the 7.9 magnitude tremors shook the nation at 11:56 am, the first copies of ECS NEPAL’s May issue were being printed. Like the rest of the nation, that too came to a grinding halt, that
A few months later, when things began to return to relative normalcy, we knew we couldn’t start from where we had stopped. Things had changed irreversibly, and the very places that we had woven stories about had suffered major damages. The 12-yearly Machhindranath Jatra was on hold; its temple in Bungamati a heap of rubble. The Langtang Valley was gone. The heritages that this magazine so often serenades were in a bed of broken tundals and bricks.
It was a testing time for all Nepalis — it still is. Yet, it perhaps comes as little surprise that our nation continues to persevere. In the face of this unspeakable tragedy the resilient people are shaken, but still defiant.
In light of this, after much introspection, we are back, weaving stories that plant hope where there was once despair. Stories that we hope will reflect the unbent and unbowed cultural and social fabric, on which this nation of ours stands. It is our perpetual goal to document every part of history, so that it lends itself for retrospection for future milieu, and we hope that this issue will play its due role.
Nepal will rebuild itself, brick by brick. At this momentous fork in our history, it is now time to put our shoulders to the wheel!