Exactly a week from now, on Saturday at 11.35 am or thereabouts, I would have been walking down the streets of Thamel, excited, bubbling with energy and looking for stuff to carry to my maiden trek to the base camp of the world’s highest mountain: Everest.
But a week ahead, this Saturday morning, as my town house in Gurgaon, shook and rattled, and I moved out to safety, I was wondering where the epicenter of the quake was. As I logged onto the US Government live earthquake tracking website, my gut instinct told me that this was a big one. Being on the first floor and in a seismically active zone, we experience tremors often.  But the manner in which the fans and lights were swinging on my ceiling, I knew this one would not be kind. Previous epicenters flashed through my mind: Latur, Bhuj, Tehri…. God I hope its not New Delhi, I spoke out loud.
The website tracked the quake to Lamjung, 77 km from Kathmandu in Nepal. 7.9 on the Richter it said. And by the time I checked that, Twitter, Facebook and What’s App were on fire with quake tweets, Status updates and messages. Notes on quakes, impending quakes, Rajinikant flatulence jokes, Rahul, Modi barbs all in a flurry, furiously forwarded to everyone.
The first person I called was our trekking mentor, Punit, who was to lead four women to the Everest base camp. He reported from his Kathmandu sources that a dust haze was hanging over the city and our mountain guide wasn’t too sure of how much the devastation was. Within minutes more news poured in: several buildings had fallen, avalanche near Everest Base Camp and the worst was confirmed. The toll would be high and the devastation vast.
One week later and I would have been climbing towards Everest Base Camp…. One week later, my family and friends would have been looking for us….
One week later, and I may not have been here to write this….
The enormity of the disaster dawns on me, I realise my bucket list trip has gone into the freezer for now. But my heart is heavy, my tears are flowing for the trekkers buried under the avalanche on the mountains and those trapped under the debris in the city. 
Cry, my beloved Katmandu, cry, my be
loved Everest. But you shall rise tall and shine above all else. And I shall bring balm to heal your soul.

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