EARTHQUAKE!!!! What’s So Funny?

June 29, 2015 , by Jyohomson Dawadi, Leave your thoughts
There's nothing inherently funny about the earthquake, true. Lots of people lost their lives and countless people were left homeless. But the worst has passed, and we need to bounce back. Not feeling guilty about laughing at jokes is the first step to a brighter tomorrow.

After April 25th and few odd days that followed, I couldn’t laugh. Someone would tell a joke or something funny would happen, and the laughter would follow. But after a while everyone would acknowledge the gravity of country’s situation and we would immediately feel guilty about laughing. Experiencing the earthquake first hand had etched seriousness into our minds. There was work to be done; you couldn’t just keep laughing all day.

As normalcy returns and with fear of quake on the wane, people look back into their earthquake experience and burst out laughing. I am not an exception. Since it was a Saturday afternoon, most people were inside their own shelter. Our neighborhood, however, was having a picnic when the earthquake struck.

It was just about time for lunch when the earth shook. Tremors soon followed. Everyone was terrified to eat. But I was hungry. So I grabbed a plate and started piling the food. As another major aftershock decided to run its course at that exact moment, I set down my plate to eat. I was powerless, so I grabbed onto a tree with my left arm and started eating with my right. My neighbors looked at me like I was crazy. A man’s got to eat, right?

Rekha Sharma recalls how she was driving with her instructor when the car starting having spasms. “The instructor was angry at me for not being able to control the car even after all he had taught me. I’d lost confidence in myself too. Only after a while I realized that the earth was driving the car for me.”

A lot of people on the road report that for the first ten seconds they were assuming that the roads were bumpier because of the substandard asphalt the government uses. Personal experiences are funny and all but the real treat is looking at people who are completely oblivious to the earthquake or are overtly-sensitive to tremors.

Overheard on the marketplace in Ason.
“What is this epicentre everyone is talking about?”

“The Epicentre is the place where the earthquake originates, you know, where it starts.”

“So its the place that starts moving first?”


“Then the epicentre should have been my cupboard. It was the first thing that moved when the earthquake came.” 

Overheard somewhere, not in Ason.
“Why are you bringing all of your clothes outside? Do you need this many?”

“They say a big one will come tonight. I’m evacuating my house.”

“Who said?”

“Radio. They said it would be of 12 hectares.”

“It’s called Richter, dai (brother), not hectare”

“You say you’re so educated. The radio said hectare. Go argue with the radio. You’ll only look stupid.” 

Ram Bahadur Koirala recounts the number of people rushing outside from tents in the Tundikhel ground. “The tents were there so to have some place safe after the disaster. Just because an earthquake strikes doesn’t always mean you have to run like the wind. One guy was rushing out from his tent during such an aftershock when his foot got caught in the tent ropes. He fell and broke his arm. I was touring the ground that day to see health problems among the refugees. His was the only earthquake related injury I had to treat on that particular day.”

Samman Singh also rushed out of his house during a major aftershock when he realized his friend was asleep inside the house. “I thought he had woken up and escaped. I saw someone just like him on the other crowd that had gathered. I returned five hours later to find him asleep on the same bed I had last seen him on. I asked him when he came back in. He had never left. I told him how much of a fool he had been. He told me that right now only he was rested enough to run if a major one did strike. I didn’t know what to say.”

Aakriti Basnet recounts an overzealous volunteer on one of her rescue teams. “He was too eager to help. One lady said her medicines were still trapped under the debris inside her house. The house looked fine from the outside but she was constantly telling us it was dangerous. The boy walked into the door and the floor above him collapsed right before his eyes. He immediately turned towards us and his face was pale. He closed the door silently. I don’t think I saw him come to work the next day.”

Meanwhile at my picnic, my uncle was telling us why he would sleep on his comfortable bed and not outside on a tent. He told everyone that tremors were nothing to be afraid of. As if taking on the challenge, the earth shook. He fell down. Instant karma, delivered. The funniest of all are people who do not know about the technicalities of the earthquake and are confused about what to do with this new found information about epicentres and richter scales.


Illustrations by Sanyukta Shrestha.
Follow Sanyukta on Twitter @sanyuktashr

Words by Jyohomson Dawadi.
Follow Jyohomson on Twitter @Jyohomson

To read more from Jyohomson, please click here.

  • whats_so_funny_banner

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categorised in: Your Say

Leave a Reply

Connect with:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Related Articles