Friday, September 23, 2011

Guffadi @ The Week

When the ‘Big One’ comes…*

Our prayers for the victims and their families of the recent earthquake… here and in our chimkei lands.

The only person who failed to read about plate tectonics in high school must be our honest ‘Home’ Minister. It took all that shaking to make him aware that we have finally become an earthquake region rey.

And instead of preparing for future earthquakes, our man wants us to pray to Lord Pashupatinath and ask God to send the earthquakes to America and Europe. Somebody please tell him that God doesn’t take sides and natural disasters aren’t like ministerial portfolios that you can switch around kya.

Birendra International Convention Center (BICC) is probably one of the safest building in town. It was supposed to be a place where we could all go to them exhibitions, circus acts and what not.

Thanks to our constitution writers (who can’t get rid of writer’s block), we have to head to Bhritkuti Mandap if we want to see the stuff (ghar, gahana and gaadis) which most of us can’t really afford anyway. But for circus acts, BICC is still the place to be hai.

Apart from BICC, a few buildings in the valley can withstand a major earthquake, like the NSET (National Society for Earthquake Technology) building in Bhaisepati and the US Embassy in Maharajgung. But we can’t all run to Bhaisepati ni.

The US Embassy can withstand a nuclear ping pong game between Chindia (if that ever happens!) but you are not even allowed to take a picture in front of their premises, let alone crash their ‘Thanksgiving’ party.

So we leave the BICC to our great netas, US Embassy for Amrikans and I don’t think NSET is looking for any interns right now.

In that case, we better start retrofitting our homes and learn the ‘earthquake’ drills so that we will be better prepared next time. If the ‘Big One’ comes and you are in your office then stay put and hope that the contractor did a good job instead of using adulterated stuff.

Our Home Minister, who also heads the ‘Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee’ can do us a favor by going live on TV and showing us the ‘drop, cover and hold’ moves.

And please remind him that those moves doesn’t include dropping criminal cases, covering up for incompetent civil servants and holding the transfer of eligible candidates so that he can prevent the Home Ministry from collapsing kya.

Our CA members were seen, hanging outside BICC, all trying to call up their loved ones. I hope we have learned a lesson this tyam. Yes, the networks can’t handle high volume calls. It would be better to make sure that you are safe and so are your fellow human beings around you, rather than frantically pushing buttons and swelling up your fingers.

And please do not jump off the building or a window or from anywhere. The best thing to do would be to stay put inside and try to get away from the window and stuff that may fall upon you. Yes, they tell us to get to open spaces but the only person who can reach Tundikhel will be the fortune teller from Hyderbad who sits right near the entrance to the ground.

If you happen to be out on the street then what do you do? Stop trying to break Usain Bolt’s 100m record to reach some paddy field. The valley has none now so just try to get away from tall buildings and electric poles.

Folks are now talking about making sure that they have an ‘earthquake’ kit ready. Yes, it’s a good idea. Water purifying tablets should not wait until the earthquake strikes. You can use it even today since most of our water jars sold by private companies seem to have flies and worms anyway.

And don’t forget to stash a poka of chuira and misri (sugar crystals) but no gudpaks hai. My friend’s grandfather had this combo when he was under the rubble in 1934 and he survived. And better get a ‘camel back’ thing for paani than half a dozen water bottles.

And a whistle is very important. If you don’t know how to blow it effectively so that rescuers can hear you then you can always ask our traffic cop to give you a quick demonstration. Violate a traffic rule, you will get a free quick demo right there ni.

An earthquake is no laughing matter or blaming your karma won’t do any good. Some of us did enjoy the little bit of shaking rey but when the ‘Big One’ comes, there will be a lot more shaking and it won’t be fun at all.

So let’s all be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

*Published today @ The Week/Republica hai!

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