Monday, May 4, 2015

What if we have to live our worst nightmare? Some of us do!

I distinctly remember that evening. I was laughing and playing with my brother and our friends. I knew that even as a kid I had a special bond with my little brother. We were all having fun by a Cruise ship. I remember seeing water all around. I love water. I was happy with the winds, splashes and friends. My parents were having dinner on the deck above us. I remember teasing my little brother and his friend about their loyalty and friendship and that it was always them against everyone else. After a while, my brother went with his friend to play on the ship, and I was with my friends, each of us performing a dance or a song. I remember myself bowing after a performance in a pretty, white frock, and wavy brown hair. I then realized it’s been a while since I saw my brother. Not finding him around, I was searching for him frantically, when I suddenly looked at the water, and saw two huge ships being pulled into a swirl and sinking, pretty sure my brother was in one of them. I still remember the horror I felt and the scream I let out. The next thing I saw was sky high water, splashing vigorously. I tried to run upstairs to warn my parents. Even while I was climbing the stairs, I saw the water rising with me. Just outside the door of the restaurant, I saw the water was about to cross my shoulders at alarming speed, and I shut my eyes and joined my hands, remembering God. The last thing I remember was me uttering a single word, “Please”. 

And my eyes flew open. I realized I was dreaming, and it was one of the worst dreams I have ever had. I must have dozed off last night, thinking about the Nepal earthquake and the natural calamities and even the man-made calamities engulfing us each passing day, and all the people affected by it. And if there is any other reason behind the dream, I will try to analyze it some other time.

I am a private person, and I am usually not comfortable sharing my dreams or my weak moments with anyone. I wanted to share this, however, because I experienced firsthand how horrifying it is to face such magnanimity, such power and such fury when nature decides to get out of the ‘peace, quiet and beauty’ zone. I cannot explain in words what I felt at that moment, and it was not even real! I realize today, that however sad we may feel for people going through all this, we can never fathom their pain, and we cannot do enough for them.

I have experienced an earthquake, I have seen floods in my hometown three times with different intensities, and I have seen the massacre caused by them to the city, as well as to my home.  I remember how I felt as I stood on a street in front of men with bloodshot eyes and swords during riots, thinking those were my last few moments alive. I remember watching someone trying to burn my house a few days later.  I remember, as a kid, firmly deciding not to accompany relatives going away from my hometown because I didn't want to be safe while my parents lived in a plague-infected city.  I remember pacing restlessly while I waited for that one phone call ensuring my brother’s safety when I came to know that he was on the same railway station where there was a bomb blast just 6 minutes after his train was scheduled to arrive.  I remember looking at my robbed house, and everything ruined.  And I also remember how I felt when I mourned the deaths of five very dear people in my life.

I still relive those moments when I remember any of the above incidents, and thank God every day for keeping my parents and brother safe and happy. And even after witnessing all of the above, I can still say that it was not as horrifying as what I witnessed in my dream last night.

Each moment showed me emotions I can’t explain. The fear I felt for my family, the feeling of loss for not being able to see them again. The anger I felt towards nature for humans being treated this way. And then the anger towards all those humans who did things to deserve this wrath causing such pain to the innocent ones. The confusion I felt, trying to understand what I must have done to deserve this, disappointment for not being able to warn my parents so that they can have a few moments before it all comes crashing down around them. So many people have to go through this horrifying experience before their death or before losing a loved one. And if, by a rare chance, they have all the members of the family saved, then they would need enormous strength for building a house, a life, a family and happiness all over again.

I know some people might not prefer to know all this. No sense in increasing anyone’s pain, or spreading sorrow. But I am writing this, because, many of us often fail to understand the situation a person is in. The way someone feels, the pain they endure, the help they could use. 

I just want to request people to be compassionate, kind and help those in need. Do good deeds to accumulate good karma and avoid the wrath of nature. It might seem minuscule if only one person is trying to accomplish what the human race as a whole should. However, one good deed leads to another and it causes a ripple effect.  

Maybe then, someday, somewhere, the story will change. The little girl in the cute white frock will end her performance, and then will go searching for her brother, only to find him building castles in the sand with his best mate. And together, holding hands, will they go find their parents, who are secretly proud of what they have built, always praying it never gets destroyed. 

This article is written by Krishna Raval Maithel. Follow her on Twitter here.