Saturday, October 08, 2005

eight a.m my cell phone woke me up- i was being what is called responsible, waking up early to study. about an hour later i was sitting on my bed reading for class when my bed began to quake. i put down 'meatless days' and concentrated, wondering whether i was imagining it but when it got harder i called out for abbu over the rumbling sound. our modem wasn't working and the telly wasn't getting any news channels, so when it was over and H called we heard about srinagar, kabul and worst of all, islamabad, and their surrounding areas. punched numbers for a good part of the morning, calling chacha, calling taya, calling eishi's place to ask about beeda. sana tuned the television, the PC kicked into gear on its own volition.

one of margalla towers' towers in F-10 has collapsed, all of it. abbu's office building's cracked. the roof at GIK's male hostel's caved in. people in lahore have died, over 746 in islamabad. one of them was xeb's little cousin salman, to whom she pays tribute here. there was an aftershock tremor around four this evening in lahore, and more are expected in the coming week. cnn showed a man buried up to his neck being dug out of the rubble. i wonder how many of them were fasting. 7.6 on the Richter scale, the earthquake was a mere 10 km below surface- the deeper the tremor, the less damage. my head is full of images of people wandering around the broken building as if in a dream, frantic feet running over slabs of concrete carrying a bundle of a person to an ambulance. it's moment you're grumbling about work and the next you could be dying. and that's it, one moment is all it takes to snap the strings that hold us to breath and all the little things we give importance to. death is so enormous, and still incomprehensible. there are people beneath the rubble, there are families waiting for someone to come home..i don't think any of us will be the same... we're praying in the hushed silence left behind, filling up the void with a whispered Allah.

it's funny. you always think that in an emergency you'll grab the things that are important to you before you run out of the house, but in the morning all i could think of was my mother, who wasn't home.

Mina at 9:07 PM