Shrill horn was blown on time and she moved, slowly. I felt the initial jerk as her engine pulled the connected wagons. Slowly she was picking up the pace and I started looking out from the window. I started the journey to my hometown after almost one year. It was nothing but struggle since I landed in this sleepless city of Mumbai. When you have to move to a different city, it’s gruesome to adjust if you have not a single familiar soul. Things go to a higher level if you are moving in against your wishes and plans are altered entirely.
It is hard to accept how the destiny can change everything in just a moment with its mighty force. Or should I say, Nature can turn things upside down in just one blow? The day was Lucky and Unlucky for me. Lucky, just because I am alive and breathing to tell you this story and Unlucky because I lost my everything. I lost my entire family, my home, my workplace everything turned into a heap of rubble with just one earth tremor. I lost many of my friends on that day or after some days when they had paid their share of pain and suffering.
I am alive just because I was on the ground playing cricket with my 5 friends. Everyone was happy, enjoying their Sunday and the next moment, it all shook and dust clouds and screams rose up in the air. It was not making any sense. A day or two passed in shock. All 5 of us huddled and was sitting in community hall amongst all other survivors. Everyone was lost in their own thoughts. It was an awkward silence. Staying in hometown was depressing. As soon as we came out of shock, we decided to shift to other towns. They all chose places where their relatives lived. Two of them have moved to Delhi, one is in Ahmedabad, and one in Chennai. But I took the different path.
I gathered what I could and took the first train to this city of dreams. I still get those horrifying dreams of the day. We have hardly talked with each other in last year, but since last week we have been talking about all the trauma of coping with loss, how we all are struggling to accept this truth. And then the plan came on the table about facing our demons at the same place where they were created. No doubt, the battle is going to be fierce but we can’t run away from it forever. In two days, the year will pass after that tragedy. And we all have started the journey, to the same destination. The journey to accept the reality and to move on.