People and the Earthquake

By now most of us in India know about the earthquake that rocked Indonesia and made its presence felt down south of India. This is not a post about the earthquake but rather about how people behave during one  and a minor one at that! Different types of human emotions are exhibited during  natural events such as quakes – excitement, anxiousness and tension is exhibited by some because they actually experienced the tremors.  Folks like myself were blissfully unaware of the earthquake in the first place but then followed the instructions for evacuation and finally the folks that did not feel anything but then reacted as if the world was coming to an end!!

This last type  just wanted to use the excuse of the quake to wind up work for the day. They stood around chatting about how they had felt the tremors, exaggerating the experience that they probably never had in the first place!

Today is a Wednesday –  a work day. When the first set of tremors were felt we were asked to evacuate the office building and head out.  It was distressing to note how some people were rushing out, not caring about who they were pushing out of their way. Our company employs several specially abled people. Specific instructions were given to everybody to help these folks out first before helping ourselves which I thought it was pretty fair. I have been limping around with a ligament tear the past 3 days and cannot be really fast when it comes to running out of a building because of which I cam completely sympathize with these guys. When the whole lot of us were making our way through the exit staircase, there were 2 girls behind me who were ready for more than evacuation. They were fully equipped to go home; complete with handbags and lunch bags! They wanted to cut short their work day even before the company could make a formal communication regarding the same. Now these two, they actually pushing the rest of us down the stairs. I still don’t get what they were thinking – there was no way they could reach home soon considering that most of the city was jammed!  I turned around once and told them to be less aggressive as I could not move much faster. 30 seconds later they were pushing again – at one point I thought my ankle was going to get more messed up then usual!  The moment we got out into the open, they bull dozed their way and were out!! These were not the only 2 exhibiting such behavior!

It is really annoying to note that some folks don’t  have the capacity to extend common courtesy to others who are in the same predicament as them or decency to help others! All that they care about is themselves! And I am talking about educated people out here – those that work in reputed IT companies, with fancy tags around their necks – they dress nicely and blow money on movies and lunches! But they lack basic decency! They board buses even before those who want to get off the bus can. They spit gums on the roads and have no calms about throwing trash from their moving vehicles…….

There used to a time when schools had a subject called civics which taught students how to behave when in public. Moral science classes re-emphasized values that were taught in civics not to mention how our parents drilled all this into our heads! Seems like such subjects dont find their way into the curriculum these days or that parents just dont care! Why is it we are turning into a nation where we just don’t care for anyone but ourselves??  It’s not just enough if we have access to fancy malls and buildings, big designer brands,  better cars or expensive jewellery – none of this matters if we can’t  lend a helping hand to someone who is in need. I don’t know how this can change or if this will ever change but I have the right to dream! The silver lining was that there were folks helping others to ensure a safe evacuation. For now I am happy, that for a bunch of selfish  morons there are a bunch of nice human beings who actually care….



  1. Shewta what you have written is quite prevelant in our country and little thought is given about the fellow human beings. A hypocritical society… I was at my daughter’s school when we felt the second tremors (first tremors was not felt and my sister who was Adyar informed me of the same) and the first persons to rush out of the school were the teachers and support staff…and they were screaming to the children inside the building to evacuate the premisis ..quite ironic is’nt it !!!
    There are few good hearted people around who take it upon themself to help fellow human beings and also shy away from unwanted limelight subsequent to their actions. I hope the educated people of this generation follow the examples set by these good hearted people whenever they are faced with situations instead of following those whom you have written about!!! Nice and a relevant post !!!

  2. Great post! 🙂

    The spectrum of emotions I witnessed on that day had me amused and baffled as well. After all we do not get to see a range of reactions to such novel situations everyday. Fortunately I did not get to see the uglier of the lot like you did because the situation was very mild in my city and there were no evacuation procedures followed in my institution. What amused me was the apparent excitement and thrilled child-likeness exhibited.

    Coming to your case, it is sad. But I wonder, if altruism would fare higher than life for most of the people out there. Fear of death can most definitely make us forget all those nice values tucked away in our rational mind I guess. Those two women who were rushing out only were too anxious to get out in time before the roof fell on their head perhaps. But if indeed, there are people who can remember their morales over fear or panic, wow, I am glad the world has them.

    • Hey Sindu

      Thanks for stopping by – I like the last line about people trying to remember their morals over fear. There are such people and it very gladdening and I hope we have more like them. I would wanna be more like them 🙂 Glad you didn’t have any such experiences!

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