TODAY -

When the ground beneath slipped, death comes uninvited

Dr Ksh Imokanta Singh *

Manipur Disaster :  An earthquake with magnitude 6.8 (with epicenter at Noney, Tamenglong District) occurred near Imphal, Manipur, India, at 04:35 AM  in local Time on January 4 2016
Earthquake with magnitude 6.8 occurred near Imphal, Manipur, India, at 04:35 AM on January 4 2016 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam



Often death, like earthquake, comes without invitation from the host. The host becomes hostage in the hands of death. When the ground beneath, which we humans call ours, for which we fight against each other, which is the repository of our culture and tradition, polity and economy and above all our lives and living, jilts us without any parting letter, what we humans can say and do but to bear the wrath of the split and in the extreme case sacrifice our lives for the sake of the tormented love.

The quake becomes a game changer. It snatches lives from the dear and near ones, flattens the palaces, makes straight curved, makes riches paupers materially, resurrects the paupers, changes the courses of rivers, redraws the geographical boundaries, makes ours theirs and theirs ours, brings down temples, churches, mosques to dust but it cannot stamp the human spirit to fight back, to crawl back and stand on the very ground which jilted us, to keep on worshiping the same 'smeared' gods and goddesses and above all to live and celebrate the life itself with all its triumphs and frivolities. Life becomes earthquake with all its unpredictability.

When the building started shaking so violently, the predawn sweet sleep was disrupted brutally. Never before, shaking of such a high intensity was felt in my life that no hope was visible, the mind became numb and the body became stagnant as if possessed by some evil spirit. (Some brave-hearts even tried their best to run down stairs and be out of the multi-storeyed buildings) .

Death became imminent not just for me but for the whole family. Those few seconds awoke the sleeping desire to live and protect the whole of my family in the midst of dire circumstances. The idea of death makes me love my family, all of the human beings and other creatures more and more. Death becomes a great spiritual teacher, at least for me.

Thankfully we were spared to be able to tell that experience to others who might have felt the same during those seconds. It has occupied a large page in the personal history that it will be told and retold so that the experience is revived time and again to caution the present. Alas! It is not the same for some whose lives were ended suddenly.

This is the only time, truly and sincerely speaking, when I feel that those who died could have been me and my family. The struggle and desire to survive by those gone and the way they died so helplessly in the rubbles are etched in my imagination and might come again and again as day and nightmare whenever I face such similar situation.

The following few days and nights were spent with fear of a looming aftershocks. Nights were spent half sleeping and half waking. It was like sleeping with an enemy. Some even thought that another big one would strike at night, assuming that it does so only at night. But the monotony of thought and human habit of complacency and forgetfulness overcame the fear and today there is very little consciousness that quake will strike again.

It looks like normalcy has dawned on those who did not face much hardship. Today they might be having a lighter time narrating those moments to each other as if they had a well-tuned shaking, but those few seconds were not lighter time by any measure.

It is a difficult time for some, let me not say many, whose dear and near ones have died, whose houses and walls have been brought down and who have to bear the brutal cold of the night in the open space. Earthquake, per say, does not kill but crumbling buildings do. It is not just the buildings which were built by government agencies but the private ones too which cracked or were grounded.

Quake is an enforcer of egalitarianism. It does not discriminate between the government and private properties and rich and poor. But quake serves as a laboratory for testing if a building was built with all its required criteria or not. This throws up the hidden and is a warning to the builders that they cannot dupe the owners and the masses in this land of earthquakes.

They cannot just run away saying that even earthquake laden Japan suffers thousands of casualties in the event of quakes of higher magnitude even if that country is so advanced technologically. But the fact is all boastful humans have not been able to outwit the nature, if not why should many perish even in this 21st century of ultimate technological advancement.

Or is it that scientists deliberately do not want to conquer the nature for it serves as controller of surging human population when it opens its jaws to devour the less prepared and unfit. Is it some kind of Darwinian thesis of survival of the fittest and most careful?

This brings me to a philosophical understanding of the death, which may sound little digressing. It may not be a great deal when the death finally arrives, what is really worth cherishing is the struggle to survive, the utmost care given to the dying and the endeavour to save lives. In normal circumstances, people feel helpless when the death comes, despite the efforts to save.

That is the dead end of a journey which any living being cannot deter. It is little puzzling why people, often, are in hurry to cremate or burry the body the moment he/she dies. May be the body becomes just a thing without 'soul', an extremely bio-degradable thing which cannot connect to the living people, emotionally and intellectually anymore. However, memories (durability depends on the kind of acts he/she did) of what he/she did remain amongst the living.

It has always been a desire for me to see what people do to my body after I die, like how my body is treated, who cries the most, how many people attend my funeral, who praise me, who curse me saying it is good that I died, how my body is cremated etc. This will remain as just a desire which cannot be fulfilled at any cost since I am not somebody who can defy death and wake up on some Good Monday or Friday to know the unknowable from those who saw my body.

Such desire might have been the one for those who died in the quake. But the surviving people know of what they are doing to those who are suffering the comforts extended by relatives, the relief efforts being delivered by the government, non-governmental organisations and people whom the survivors never had met at all but are connected by the eternal string of humanity, defying the narrow boundaries of race, ethnicity and community.

A civilisation may perish with an earthquake. Or a civilisation may need an earthquake to introspect and re-unite, brushing aside all the ill feelings existing on the lines of groups and the sordid politics of 'I, me and myself'. Let humanity prevail all over in this testing time. Let short term memory not rule and ruin us. Who knows another bigger one might strike sometime here.


* Dr Ksh Imokanta Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on January 10 , 2016.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Paukhanmung, Siipuni :: eMing
  • Veterans Football Tournament #1 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #1
  • Naturopathy as career option #2
  • Multiple jobs @ R-Square Design
  • Cry of a Dying River - 30 :: Poem
  • Check fee structures of Private school
  • Hill-valley disparity in education
  • Climate change from Christian perspectives
  • Karuna- Please kindly read the message
  • International Nurses Week #2
  • Changing Perspectives :: Poem
  • Single Window Clearance System (SWCS)
  • Civil Engineer @ R-Square Design
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Cleaning river bank an awaited measures..
  • Manipur, a destination for immigrants ?
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Himalayan newt: Biodiversity Day concern
  • On Academics, Intellectuals & Activists
  • An untold story :: Poem
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Families for inclusive societies
  • What happens in Karnataka ?
  • Why common man fails to show courage..
  • Looking at Mizoram & 2019 : BJP's agenda
  • ANSF wants ceasefire in entire Naga area
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Kailam Sanctuary threaten to displace tribes
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #3
  • Prof L Janmejay: Reminiscence as teacher
  • In The Annals of Time :: Poem
  • 128th Birth Anniversary of Ho Chi Minh
  • Challenges to Digital India initiatives
  • Pressing issues before the Govt
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Governor's Taekwondo Cup: Gallery
  • Entrepreneurship in the context of Manipur
  • Face scrubs to avoid dirt this summer
  • Ah, me - Now Happy, Now Sad :: Poem
  • Rio assures of co-existence with neighbours
  • Nandeshwore- President, Manipur, RJSP
  • 'PDA Govt is functioning smoothly'
  • SC voices displeasure at defence ministry
  • Manipur NPF differs with Shurho over BJP
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #2: Gallery
  • Identity crisis : @Somorendra Lecture
  • Reflection on Tour of Dubai & Abu Dhabi #2
  • Khangminashi - II : Report
  • Globalization & its impact on our culture
  • District Demand 2011-2018 :: Timeline
  • Dishonouring the Constitution of India
  • From EVM to floor test Onus on BJP
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • 4th MCA Plate Tournament : Gallery
  • International Nurses Week #1
  • Story of Silence : @Somorendra Lecture
  • Apiculture (bee-keeping) #2
  • Khangminashi - II : Invitation at Thoubal
  • IBSD-ILS Centre set up in Bhubaneswar
  • Of 3 Ws - Beware
  • Forming the Govt : Office of Governor
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur Fight League Season 1 : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba #3
  • Rights of indigenous people & merger
  • Manipur's tryst for a native Chief Secretary
  • Marxji, Modiji & Birenji
  • Reasoning without disparities
  • Regulate movement of auto rickshaws
  • Healing Touch: A case of still to outreach
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Sandrembi Cheishra :: Book Review
  • Homecoming & Other Stories :: Review
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #2
  • Cry of a Dying River - 29 :: Poem
  • Shija Hospitals MOU for RBSK Nagaland
  • Are we waiting for the "Go-dot"
  • Understanding with KSO : Reaching to all
  • Garlic Festival @ Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Dr. Cesarczyk drizzled harmonics in the rain
  • Tlanglhungbung Leikol - Tourist destination
  • Manipulative skill pays in usurping power
  • Khonzel TV : New Manipuri Streaming TV
  • Naturopathy as career option
  • Free Eye Camp at Wangoo
  • Khongjom Day: OK to observe on Apr 23, but
  • Outside Manipur after Class XII
  • TRAU Vs Langsning FC : Gallery
  • Ngasepam Nalini : State Akademi Award
  • Construction of Ima Keithel
  • Dreaming :: Poem
  • Test for dengue fever
  • Home Coming & other Stories : Book [upd]
  • Eco Tourism as alternative to Timber Trade
  • Go to Village - boon .. but a scourge for PRI
  • Citizenship Bill ... on basis of religion!
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Course in Book Publishing at IGNTU, Kpi
  • Reflection on Tour of Dubai & Abu Dhabi #1
  • Gurudev :: Poem
  • Counseling to Delhi University Aspirants
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Apiculture (bee-keeping) #1
  • Entrepreneur find ways to recycle plastic
  • Social impacts of Mapithel dam
  • Cyber crime defined: The Bhopal case
  • Timber banned but no ban on firewood
  • Traffic chaos : Regulate not ban entry !
  • Cheiraoba Thabal by LGBTQ #2 : Gallery
  • Culturals @Shirui Lily Fest : Gallery
  • Kuki-Zomi Insurgency in Manipur #1
  • Civil Service as a career option
  • The plight of education in Manipur
  • Appeal to Stop Oil Exploration
  • TechExpo at IIT Guwahati
  • Awaiting- a light at end of the tunnel
  • Wanted : Responses not reactions
  • Kabo Valley: A brief history
  • 'Autonomous Naga council'- a major hurdle
  • Cry of a Dying River - 28 :: Poem
  • Admission :: SAIRAM college at Patsoi
  • Khangminashi :: Lecture series at KKT
  • CASO conducted at Mantripukhri
  • PRI & the Mission- "Go to Village"
  • Final pact likely soon : Stand of CSOs
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • A village "wall" a destruction for others
  • Thank you Mangaal Rural...
  • Lack of proper investigation- minor girl case
  • Nagaland Cong shelved plans to contest LS
  • Employment drive through Afforestation
  • Bid to attract the brightest
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #1: Gallery
  • Occupational hazards of journalists
  • Election: The greatest weapon of the people
  • Community Gardening in memory of Belinda
  • Politicians need a thorough headbanging
  • Beauty essentials for your holiday
  • NPF will not attend meeting..
  • A view on "Go to Village" Mission
  • Littering Shirui peak after Lily Fest
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Dance competition @MANFETE #2 : Gallery
  • Bracing for monsoon madness
  • When I'm sick :: Poem
  • 1949: Story of India's Takover of Manipur
  • You can't defile a Judge like that
  • Legal provisions for misusing Social Media
  • Bill for non-local: Need to learn from 2015
  • Heart OPD Camp at Youth Club Brahmapur
  • Flood in Imphal [06 May ] : Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai @ Ragailong : Gallery
  • Ode to Inle (in Myanmar) #2
  • AFSPA Repeal from Meghalaya, Arunachal
  • Reclamation of eutrophicated water bodies
  • Hey smartphone! Free me from your spell
  • Job Positions at VITSOFTS, Canchipur
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #1 : Gallery
  • Phumdigi Tantha Dance Drama : Synopsis
  • Speaker List at Seminar on Atomic Energy
  • The making of village republics
  • The Sunset Blues :: Poem
  • Rio for development on eastern corridor
  • Welcomes decision on mini hornbills
  • Good show only from Imphal
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba #1
  • Communal Harmony in a Multicultural ..
  • Community Gardening Event at Ema Keithel
  • Usurped Domain
  • Fruit stalls : Who gave them the license ?
  • 60 best social media practices
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Scholarship for Civil Aspirants : Gallery
  • The Streets Of Imphal
  • Civil Aspirants Scholarship Announcement
  • Vandalizing of fruit seller- protecting identity
  • Free Heart OPD Camp at Manipur University
  • Go to Village Mission: Another first for Govt
  • Khongjom Day - April 23 #2 : Gallery
  • Haudonggi Lamchat :: Funga Wari
  • Mukada: Eroding Festival of Kharam Tribe
  • Kh Sanjita & Saikhom Mirabai :: Gallery
  • May Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • NE Guide to Thailand : Gallery
  • Paintings @Imphal Art Camp : Gallery
  • 'HUN' Thadou Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Naorem Kalimohon Singh : A Profile
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa [14 Apr] : Gallery
  • Md Awaysh Khan: Mr. India : Gallery
  • Mahesh Thounaojam #2 : eRang Photos
  • Mnipur Ima :: Seireng
  • Tributes to Khelen Thokchom : Gallery
  • Sanakhya Ebotombi Haorokcham: Biography
  • PM Narendra Modi @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Enakta Leiringei (Film) #2 :: eRang
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS