“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” – Stephen King
Life is full of surprises. Life is a quest. In this pursuit, there are ups, and then there are downs. No matter the circumstances, all we can do as humans is continue with our lives regardless of the ordeals. We win sometimes, and we lose sometimes – but what makes us irrepressible is the fact that we are built to face any setbacks. The result might not always be favorable but the sole fact that we accept the challenge makes us winners.
The April 2015 Nepal earthquake killed over 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000. It occurred at 11:56 Nepal Standard Time on 25 April, with a magnitude of 7.8. A major aftershock occurred on 12 May 2015 with a magnitude of 7.3. More than 200 people were killed and more than 2,500 were injured by this aftershock.
Any kind of disaster can come in life, but by being compassionate and lending a helping hand to others, we can do our best to prepare for anything. We should keep hope alive when we are in the dark. To spread this message I decided to write a book- ‘Kampan’.
“There’s something wrong with my eyes. Are you there?” I was wailing heartbroken. My wife was deeply shocked, and stressed out to no measure. “I can’t see a thing. Everything’s black. Both my eyes are impaired. What is happening?” The sixth day after the first quake was the darkest day of my life. I am terrified of my future, of our future. But there are days when I collect myself and tell myself that everything will be all right, and that I will be able to see this beautiful world again. There’s a light that never goes out and that is called ‘hope’. – Binod Raj Ganika, (Kapman, Page : 31) (Photo : Sudhan Panthi)
This book is written not to make readers feel weak or afraid, but to instead give them hope and make them feel strong. It can instill you with courage in many different ways, and tells stories of survival and perseverance through terrible circumstances and awful disasters.
My baby is a miracle. – Rasmile Awale (35), Mother of Sonis Awale (Photo : Nischal Amatya)
Kampan is a book written in spare and evocative vignettes. The specificity of this book renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and tells the story of people who survive to triumph. The continuous jolts of the quakes and the aftershocks made life a nightmare for the Nepalis. They only have one option, to unite and fight the tribulations together. The terrifying tryst with nature leaves them vulnerable but they must make a decision – to risk everything to reclaim their lives. This decision enables them to form bonds that are stronger than the quakes ultimately preparing them to face life’s challenges head on.
Kampan has stories that the readers will resonate with immediately. The stories might exhaust the readers in the beginning as the stories will take them back to those horrific days. However, as the book ends, the same stories will leave readers brimming with hope and motivation to do well in this once in a lifetime opportunity of being human.
I was in New York when the first earthquake ruthlessly shattered many Nepali lives. I boarded the next flight to Nepal to be of help to those in need. I traveled to the most affected areas as a volunteer. Kampan is a compilation of stories of the people I met with during this trip of providing salvation.
My book, Kampan, is a compilation of real stories of the struggles faced by Nepalis during the time of the devastating earthquake of 2015. It has true stories of loss, of determination, of finding the meaning of life, and of hope. My book is a compilation of stories of loss and overcoming it, of dreams, and hope. It is a book that will inspire the readers, and show the world that Nepal is truly a phoenix; it keeps rising from the ashes despite the setbacks.
By ancient definition, the Phoenix was known as a mythical creature of indestructible wonder. In more modern terminology, it describes a posture of unshakeable resolve and determination. If there was ever a time for us to be determined and optimistic, it is now.
Writing Kampan was a cathartic experience, not necessarily a pleasant one. The people I met and the stories I heard made the process uneasy, only because their pain was indescribable. But as I penned the stories that I was told, I came face-to-face with a surreal realization of hope being the most powerful embodiment of survivors. The undying want to see tomorrow despite going through so much and the unmatched stirrings of achieving happiness inspired me. I hope the stories inspire you to hope for the better too.
Kampan was recently launched by two former prime ministers of Nepal – Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal. The book is now available in Nepali, and will soon be published in English for the readers who are interested in experiencing a gamut of stories through the survivors’ eyes, compelling them to march forward with hearts full of hope.