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Jan 20, 2011

The Tremor Night


“Any idiot can face a crisis. It is often day to day living that wears you out”.

- Anton Chekhov.


0153 hrs IST, January 19, 2011

earthquake1 We had barely slept when the bed started shaking. The curtain rings rattled about the drapery rod and the glass on the bed post vibrated like crazy. It was perhaps the third major earthquake I had experienced (awake and not slept through it) and though its impact was not as profound as the last one I had witnessed (April 6, 2006 Gujarat), it made me spring to my feet and look around for Riddhie before I even could reach my slippers.
 
Luckily, she was sound asleep and the shuddering Earth soon came to rest. There was some commotion outside and a few people in the society had moved out of their flats to reach the ground. I waited a little longer before waking up my wife. The quake had subsided and I quickly inspected the walls and the ceiling to look for any cracks and assess if it was still dangerous to be indoors.
 
The calm and silence of the night was soon restored and the people who had moved out of their houses too decided to come back and go back to sleep.
 
I switched on the TV for news and as I suspected, the earthquake was a significant 7.4 on the Richter scale. However, the epicenter was the desert region of south western Pakistan and there was no loss of life or property reported. (Another of Pakistan’s unwanted imports I chuckled to myself).
 
I held Riddhie close and readjusted her quilt. The first earthquake of her life passed by without bothering her any bit. I went back to bed and tried to catch some sleep myself. A strange array of thoughts crossed my mind. We all know that Delhi sits at the helm of a tectonic belt prone to Earthquakes and tremors and is marked as seismic zone IV and it is perhaps just a matter of time when one such quake shall find its epicenter around Delhi and would engulf many a lives in its fold.

It was at this juncture of my thoughts that I decided to write the following letter.


Dear Riddhie,

No matter how you plan out things and lay designs for your self, life shall always take its natural course. There would be things that you would want to be a certain way and chances are that all such planning shall fail more often than you would imagine.

Well, that doesn’t mean that you should refrain from wanting what is best for you and planning things for yourself. Dream, as you must and work towards them. Just remember that you can not vouch for all dreams to be realized as and when you want.

I shall leave you to interpret this letter in more ways than one and the way you like. In fact I shall not even try and explain what I mean by it all.

I guess, with time I shall know which way your abilities and sensibilities are aligned and how you tend to approach each new day. I hope to hold your hand and lend you my shoulder as long as I can, but then a day would come when you shall have to wade through waters on your own. Life shall come with its own unpredictable moments and you must learn to deal with it with a balanced head and strong arms.

You and I survived the quake last night and we, as your parents could render you the necessary cushion so that you did not feel any tremor. I am sure there would be many more to come. I wish you all the best to fight through and stand tall for all coming ones as well.

Love,
Dad.

2 comments on "The Tremor Night"

Aastha on 7:14:00 PM said...

Hi Riddhie.. this is your masi.. Don't know how old you would be when you'll get this letter to read.(Nothing can beat the beauty of the moment when you will read these tokens of love and we are so touched how endearingly your father has been capturing all moments of pride in words.) I see your pictures almost everyday on your parents' facebook profiles and you are blooming like a precious flower. I know u'll grow up to be an absolutely wonderful daughter and a great human being.

Always stand up tall and proud for all your dreams and goals.

And, As your father is guiding your little footsteps in this journey, we are enjoying these amazing letters.

God Bless

p.s: Call me up ;)

Himanshu Tandon on 12:05:00 AM said...

Thanks a ton for this beautiful letter Aastha. Would make sure that she calls up once she reads it.

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