Monday, April 4, 2011

Earthquakes in the 1960s

My earliest memories of living in Delhi (I was born in 1957, in Delhi, in  old colonial Victoria Zenana hospital) are people running out when there was an earthquake. There would be a shout in the neighbourhood, Thompson Road, now sacrificed to the metro, and tiny children would be picked up by their parents, and we would all run out into the open. They were not frequent, as threats of crises go, but the drill was always the same, stand under the open sky, and presumably look upto the open sky and say a prayer.
Yesterday I got a circular letter from the painter George Oommen, (website for his lovely paintings  on South Indian, are against his name) which was about what to do during earthquakes, "do not sit under a table, do not use the lift, do not use the stairs.".all very terrifying, but good advice, specially the injunction to curl in foetal position next to a bed or a large chair, should there be an earthquake or a series of them.
As the protagonist in A Visiting Moon which was a novel I wrote in 2000, and published by Indiaink in 2002, says, "The odd thing about survival is that one does it anyhow." (150)
I suppose my epitaph would be "Why me worry?"  The day begins, and routine chores will appear without are inviting them, maybe in new forms.

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