25th of April 2015 was a usual Saturday for me. For others, it was do-you-work-on-Saturdays-too. I was neck-deep in work and was trying to swim out of it. As soon as I came out of it, I was slogging again. I had not even logged into Facebook that day! As if this was not enough, a worker at the plant where I work forgot to switch off the motor of a screw conveyor, stretched her arm into the entrance of it and got her hand cut. This casualty at work had everybody on their feet. I was haggard. Somehow I managed to get through the day and left work to go home. On the way back home, one of my friends called to catch up on the latest happenings in my life and before saying good night, she casually mentioned that there had been barbarous earthquakes in Nepal and Northern and North Eastern parts of India which killed many people. That’s when it hit me that four of my friends were on magnificent Goecha La trek (from where you can see Khangchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world, situated in Nepal) which happens to be in Sikkim, a North-Eastern state of India.
Back in Bengaluru, I and my friends were trying every contact that we have to reach our friends who were not reachable on their mobile numbers. News channels were showing CCTV camera video clippings from the time earthquake started and its effects on Nepal. Watching that as I called various people who could try to get any information about happenings out there in the North East increased my anxiety. We were asking each other to calm down as we tried to reach our friends who were on that fateful trek that would one day go on to become an epic in their lives. As and when I sat back to think how else I could reach them and what else I could do, my mind started to drift to think about the last conversation I had with each of them.
With the first one I had an argument about my recent trip to Kodaikanal after coming back to Bengaluru. He was also there with me on that trip. At that moment the argument gave me a high; I enjoy arguments having logic. Thinking about that, I only hoped that he came back safely so that I could whack him on his head. Second one had shown me pictures of his new-born daughter and was as happy as a squirrel before leaving for that trek. As long as he was in the network range, he was sending beautiful pictures of the serene nature around him in Sikkim. Third one had generously given his OnePlus One invite to me when I was looking for it. The fourth one is kind of special to me. He does not speak too much and at the same time he is not an introvert. I have never heard him abuse anyone till date. I always felt that he is the younger non-galling obdurate brother I never had and never asked my mom for one as I was happy being my brother’s younger and one and only sibling. This fourth person and I were not able to have a drink together for a long time. Every time I thought of this person being stuck in the earthquake hit area, the drink we never had floated in front of my eyes. I started feeling bad over that and emotionally announced that I will buy him a drink if he returns intact. That is my little way of indirectly bribing the Universe which is supposed to be constantly working for our betterment or that is what I understood from Ted of How I Met Your Mother and Shah Rukh Khan in Om Shanti Om. It also struck me about the way the last conversation or meet with any particular person in your life goes round and round in our head at the slightest hint of losing that person. What better reason do we need to make every moment with anybody good enough to be remembered? Well, just a suggestion which is difficult to be considered.
Anyway, by the end of next day, our anxiety abated and gave way to joy when we heard from the third guy’s parents that they are alive and intact as he had called them. As we wait for them to come back by any means of transportation available, I write this blog.