I'm back - to an earthquake!
My exams are over. All those posts I wrote about the preparation for the exams, all that consumed me during that time - all that is over. Inshallah, the result will be out in a month or two, and I should pass with good marks.
So much has happened in these past two months. I've covered so much new ground in self-discovery. I wish I had an internet connection there in Peshawar, I would have been able to write from time to time and put some of the more important (and some of my finer) moments down here.
There's a lot I want to talk about in this space, and I'll get to it in the next few days. I came back from Peshawar only yesterday. I packed up everything and hauled ass back here for the last time. I'm done with Peshawar, thank God. I hated that place.
I had grand plans of relaxing for a little while and then going on to the next Big Project of mine (which I'll talk about soon), but before I could get my head straight about anything, we had this big earthquake here in Islamabad (and the surrounding regions).
I went to sleep last night very tired. It had been a long day, what with packing all my stuff, hauling it over here. I wanted to go to sleep late so I'd wake up late and make the next day's fast a little easier. I dropped like a stone into bed at around 1 am and hibernated until I was woken up by the quake. I realised what was happening very fast and leaped out of bed and shook my brother awake. I have very bad eye sight and the very first thing I do when I wake up is put my glasses on. Despite the room shaking in a most obvious manner, I still looked quickly for the glasses, but I forgot where I had put them. I gave up on them after a few seconds and ran out of the room really quickly, my heart pounding. Who needs coffee, I thought - there's nothing like an earthquake to get those morning juices flowing.
We went outside, my family and I. In Islamabad earthquakes occur quite regularly. They always scare us, and get the heart going, but they don't last long and arn't that strong. The feeling of the ground moving underneath us in a quick jerking motion is not unfamiliar to us. That feeling is usually strongest when your sitting down, more so if your lying down or if your in a higher floor of the building. This time however, I could feel the ground moving underneath me as I was standing outside the house. My legs starting shaking a little bit from the fear of something awful happening. Soon after the windows starting rattling, which didn't help our nerves. We realised this earthquake was very strong. It lasted for quite a while, much longer than others we've experienced before.
We finally went back in after a while. Going back to sleep was out of the question now. I just went to the computer and logged on, as I had nothing better to do.
Pretty soon the local news channels aired the story. The earthquake was a 7.4 on the Richter scale. A whopper. News came in that an prominent apartment complex in the capital, called the Margella towers had collapsed. That's a pretty big, prominent building. I've passed it many times. My father passes it every day on his way to work. We even considered buying an apartment there when it was first built a few years ago. I remember visiting the place when it was still being constructed because my parents wanted to know how big the individual apartments would be.
The pictures came in on the news. Reports of losses of life and property in other parts of the country started coming in as well. The President, Prime Minister and Interior Minister visited the site of the collapsed Margella Towers. It was surreal.
Then came the aftershocks. In all, since morning, there have been about 10 of them. I stopped going out after the 6th or 7th one. The last one was 4 hours ago, and we're all still kind of nervous because news reports claim the aftershocks may last for another 2-3 days.
Home sweet home.