--By Madan Lamsal
For many years now, the wild seeds of discontent sown by the Europeans flourished in our country. The risk of communal tension raising its ugly head was increasing. But O Dear Earthquake, Exalted Thou Art that you suddenly eased the communal tensions, bringing all our different communities under the same tent-cover. This coming together which began in our villages quickly reached the corridors of the political elite as well, leading to the creation of an environment where the new constitution suddenly looked possible. Started by BP Koirala, efforts at national reconciliation remained unfinished by GP Koirala and PK Dahal. But your sudden stroke, O Omnipotent Quake, brought it out in a flash now, with Sushil Koirala at the helm. Hail to Thee, O Earthquake, for goading Nepal’s so-called leaders to start behaving themselves. Till recently, they were jumping up and down trumpeting that they were working for a working nation state but came up with nothing. You through one single stroke, created the environment that forced them to actually do something. A million thanks to you.
O Great Teacher, in one rude awakening, you reminded the Nepalis of the country’s geography, taught them the environment and made them aware about your sudden appearance and power. Today, every single Nepali has become an expert in geology, sociology, architecture, engineering and even diplomacy. It’s only because of you that we have managed to open up our eyes and minds to many things. Thank you for triggering the sudden realization that insurance is necessary. The insurance companies which once were just fidgeting away with hardly any customers have now become choosy.
Every year, floods terrify us. Sometimes in the east, sometimes in the west. Sometimes, epidemics sting our poor countrymen and women. But we had never realized that we should help each other in such situations. With just one or two jolts, you taught us this great lesson.
Thus, O Great Teacher, now we’ve finally realized why you shook up Kathmandu so much. The country did not shake to its core when other parts were shaken. You put to rest Mao’s saying, “Capture the villages and the capital will tumble by itself.” You knew that the capital Kathmandu needed a wake-up call. That’s why you shook it the way you shook it. Many thanks to you for this!
The shake-up has of course created many hassles for us. But there is a positive side too. For example, you gave the all-time loss-making Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) an opportunity to lessen its loss even if it’s only for a short time. Several hydropower projects developed by the private sector are closed because of you, solving NEA’s problem of buying electricity at a higher price and selling it at a lower price,
Everyone said Kathmandu was way too crowded and the crowds must be reduced. But nobody had a clue about how to do that. Then you came and many left the capital, perhaps with no thought of return. You left the highways, bridges and the airport relatively unscathed for them to make a quick exit. Verily, You Art the Compassionate and Benevolent One.
Just a single Turkish plane, we remember, closed off Nepal’s only international airport for over a week. But the airport stayed open even when you absolutely shook the whole of Kathmandu up and down again and again. What great kindness shown by you! And it’s because of you we got to see so many planes we had never seen before – the American Osprey and the photo-taking Chinese drones!
And that’s not all! We got to see Hollywood stars such as Michelle Yeoh and Jackie Chan on our own shores distributing relief material. What are you not capable of? We all bow to you!
Earthquake! We mortal souls are yet to understand so many things about you. KP Oli, touted to be the next PM, climbed to the top of Dharahara. And only a week later, your jolts brought the tower down. Now they say he wants to get to the top of the government. We wonder what’ll happen next. Your earth-shaking arrival has given the message that Nepal will not be at peace unless India and China are in harmony. Technos say when the Chinese and Indian tectonic plates collide, you bring down our houses. But, we get a variety of plates from a range of countries in the market. Now we are worried that if all these plates start clashing with each other what will happen to us. Please Save us Oh Great Saviour!
But dear earthquake! One thing is certain. We Nepalis will remember our duties and responsibilities only if you keep reminding us of the same by visiting us from time to time. I thank you for this from the bottom of my heart. Therefore, dear earthquake, keep on visiting us, from time to time. But just make sure that you don’t kill anyone!