Stories of hope and despair co-exist after quake

Last Updated 28 April 2015, 19:08 IST

Thirty-three-year-old Sun Lama was cooking in a restaurant in Delhi when he heard about the massive earthquake that struck his homeland. His thoughts raced back to his parents in the mountains of Sindhupalchok, about 85 km from here.

As Lama was boarding the flight to Kathmandu on Monday, the tragic news of his father’s death reached him. He had planned to take his parents to Delhi to stay with him.

“I got to know that my father's last rites have also been performed. There is only my mother now in the tiny hamlet of Bothang,” a grim Lama told Deccan Herald.

Ram Thapa, a driver settled in Manali in Himachal Pradesh, is in search of his parents in Kathmandu, which earth scientists claim shifted three metres southwards due to the powerful temblor that shook it on Saturday.

“I have had no contact with my parents since the earthquake,” said a concerned Thapa who is anxious and back in Nepal.

Nisha, a Delhi-based employee of an Indian airliner, said her cousin's six year-old son has been missing since Saturday. 

The child had left for school in his school-van and the parents only hope that all the children may have been driven to safety.

“We have not heard of him since Saturday. My cousin in Kathmandu is desperately waiting for some news,” said Nisha.

A glimmer of hope

On the other diametric opposite of despair is hope. Siddharth, in his 20s, had collected his boarding pass for the flight to Kathmandu where his parents had gone on a holiday. 

While he was waiting for the flight to be announced, a phone call from his parents drove away all his anxiety.

“They are at the Kathmandu airport waiting to be airlifted to Delhi,” said Siddharth, a resident of Defence Colony in Delhi. “Please offload me from the flight,” he requested the airline staff. Rohit Rajali, the chief of a head-hunter firm, is a frequent traveller between Delhi and Kathmandu. His father was in the Gorkha Regiment of the Indian Army, and has settled in Delhi post retirement.

Rajali was in Delhi visiting his parents when tragedy struck Nepal. A father of two children aged one and five, Rajali was happy to share the news that his family was safe.

“They have pitched tents outside our home out of fear of the aftershocks that continue to shake the region,” he said, eager to reach home. “I shall move them to Delhi with their grandparents for some time, till things settle down here in Nepal,” he said.

(Published 28 April 2015, 19:08 IST)

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