Friday, June 1, 2007

Those thirty seconds of my life!

The early hours of dawn...when everything around you is still so fresh and new...when nature welcomes you with its warm embrace and early melodies....when the world outside you have not yet usurped your thoughts....when you feel totally secure after the everlasting balm of nature , sleep......yes, this is the time of the day I love most....and I was already up from bed as usual. But wasn't there something unusual in the air ?...For the past one week it was not the chirping birds ,those tiny little ones who always reminded me of the Japanese shop attendants ,( tirelessly bowing down to each customer and endlessly singing thank yous and good byes) ,who woke me up;I would suddenly jerk out of my bed , holding on to the side stand for support , so that I don't fall. Once I even woke up and found myself on the ground....and experienced life on the floor!



Today was nothing new!But it would be all over in a few seconds...I could still feel the dawn and still bathe in its warmth. But today , I was sure to drag this topic into our daily gossips and discussions ,over a cup of coffee. It was Sunday and unlike all the working days ,the whole day was relaxed. It was a day when we skipped our breakfast and preferred to take brunch instead.....

After our brunch , I immediately put forth my experiences of the past week....and was disheartened to find no serious concern on any of them....They all seemed to have taken it for granted.....none seemed distracted ! Good... all of them seemed to be evolved now . I was sure all of them had experienced those same tremors , shaking the whole of Higashi Hiroshima ....but now it had become a daily affair...could you ever imagine an Earth quake taken so lightly!The past whole week we were experiencing tremors and still , those were no more hindrances to our sleep ?


The word earth quake takes me back to my school days .I still clearly remember Mr. Babu Vargheese, our geography teacher, walk into our class without even a piece of paper. He never failed to locate students who tried to shy away from his questions which were darted like infinite arrows... We had a chapter called Earth quakes and Volcanoes , and I still remember memorizing Japan as the world's most earth quake prone areas. Who would ever imagine living in that far off island after a decade and more and above all getting to know the real taste of earth quake !!! All the natural disasters seem not for us , until you have a first hand experience of it!


Today, it was one week since we experienced the real earth quake.It was a fine Saturday afternoon, and we had Tomito san and his wife for dinner.I was all set for dinner with the typical Kerala cuisine, Idiyappam and stew! I also prepared black channa curry (kadala curry), which is my husband PP's all time favorite!There was still plenty of time for our guests to arrive and we decided to take a stroll and visit our near by shoji market to stock some juice.I loved shopping here as , by now I had gained enough expertise in calculating which item was thrown up for sale on which day of the week.As we were admiring the freshly arrived vegetables we were awestruck to see all the vegetables and fruits fall from the racks....when we looked up we saw the ceiling fans shaking vigorously....yes I was also shaking!I saw many terror stricken faces running for life....they didn't know where they were running to but were still running. Some tried to hide under the shaking tables !I could see PP's eyes stuck out and mouth open!And what was I doing by the way? I was involuntarily chanting hymns but quite loudly (it must have been an attempt at warding off all evil ;a tradition that my brain could still replay in times of need ,that had seeped into me from my childhood family prayers around a lighted lamp). This phenomena lasted for 30 seconds which seemed to be endless....


[Watch the earthquake on You Tube - Ignore the music by the way !!]



This earth quake was rated 6.4 with an epicentre at Kure an adjacent prefecture.Window panes flew, roads cracked,few buildings collapsed robbing two lives.Japanese cities were earth quake proof and build to satisfy the outcomes of these unforeseen disasters....After those 30 seconds I was surprised to see life flow back to its normal routine... With in hours roads were re tarred, houses were fixed....life kept moving on and people got back to their tasks.We reached back home and had dinner with our invited guests! The after effects of these earth quakes kept repeating in the everyday tremors....which lasted a few seconds....



This earth quake did open my views about the value of time...which waits for no man....each second is important, precious! Do not let it pass... live the moment!!!



9 comments:

naveen said...

your japanese adventures are getting more & more interesting ......... keep at it ....

sudha said...

what an experience!, we want to hear more from u....keep writing

sudha said...

i like it. continue to write. my prayers are always with you. amma.

Mishmash ! said...

Nanditha, when I read the last line, it reminded me of Gandhiji's famous quote "Live as though you re going to die tomorrow and learn as though you re going to live forever "!!!

Shn

Sharmi said...

hey Nandita, the video was very amazing. never seen anything like that. that must have been a real scary experience. the best part was when you started chanting prayers. :)

SG said...

That must have been a scary experience. Keep writing about your adventures.
Its amazing to know that life got back to normal within hours....

A Little Light said...

that is scary...after the tsunami i m still scared to goto the beach when there are high tides and natural disasters scare me to death wherever they happen!!

sunshines17 said...

real life stories are always interesting and this one too..I am happy that u were all safe after that. also amazed to know that roads and buildings were repaired within few hrs!!!

Linda said...

Hi Nanditha, that is an incredible thing to have experienced -- and you have a great outlook! Enjoyed reading your other posts as well... will be watching for more :)