According to Science, earthquakes are usually caused when rocks underground suddenly break along a fault but in Nepal, this was not the only case. The underlying cause or let’s say causes of the great earthquake and thousands of other aftershocks in Nepal, excluding the real reason was very different to that of the world. While the whole world talked about the tectonic plates; Eurasian plates and Indian plates and how the Indian plates were pushing 4 cm/year towards the Eurasian plates – colliding to create the earthquake, some folks here in Nepal were busy creating their own theory behind the cause of the earthquake and later, the prevention.
There is no algorithm to predict an earthquake and the process igniting the shaky movement of the earth is and has always been the same but here’s the list of things we heard on the street that surely and definitely didn’t start the earthquake.
1) The moon flipped over?
We don’t know where this gibberish came from, probably from a drunkard who saw the moon doing double backflip and a nose grab.
2) 12 years Machhindranath jatra
They say the chairot of Machhindranath was stopped in the middle of the road. Although the rath is two-wheeler, it doesn’t have a 4-stroke engine and it definitely doesn’t run on fuel.
3) Pashupatinath measurement taken by Indian officials
It is said that few official from India came to Nepal and measured the size of ‘Shiva linga’ (statue) inside the Pashupatinath temple which provoked Shiva bhagwan and hence, his anger triggered the earthquake. Calm down ‘Almighty GOD’!
4) The living goddess Kumari was angry at being disrespected
An artist interpreting our male dominated society painted a figure resembling the living goddess, in which the iconic red tika on her forehead was made using the cardboard box of a condom packet. Maybe Kumari was angry, alright, we got it! But, why in the living world would she bring an earthquake and shatter another Kumari’s house at Bungamati? NOT FAIR!
5) The unlucky word ‘Ba’ in Nepali?
Is it a pattern or a coincidence that the earthquake exactly struck us on Nepali date 2072/1/12 at 12 o’clock which literally translates to ‘bahattar saal’ (year), ‘baisakh’ (1st month of the year), ‘barha gatey’ (date) at ‘barha bajey’ (time).
Did the same thing happened 26 years ago when the earthquake came on 2045/5/5 at 5 o’clock?
‘paitalis saal’ (year), ‘paanch mahina’ (5th month), ‘paanch gatey’(date) at ‘paanch bajey’(time)?
Houston, I think we have a solution for this colossal problem called earthquake. Let us flip the calendar!
6. Rain and Lightning: Rain and thunderstorms would rarely have captured even a minute of people’s attention in normal circumstances but the post earthquake weather shenanigans injected steroids to people’s anxiety. Suddenly science had flipped 180 degrees for countless number of people and near absolute certainty established that bad weather was a precursor to earthquake. Wait, or maybe the other way around!! More panic and anxiety causes more delusion.
Non-existent memory of such bad weathers following big earthquakes suddenly popped into countless heads making their arguments undeniable.
7. Tight Jeans: No natural disasters can ever happen without women ‘behaving immorally’!!! Science may have dragged humanity to 21st century but thousands of years of beliefs are more than hard to get rid of. Nutcases of some faith claimed it was women’s tight jeans that caused the God’s wrath to be unleashed. Point to be noted: such phenomenons are not limited to Nepal. Remember that hurricane Katrina was caused by women having abortions in America.
8. India – China Underground War: Thanks to sensationalist journalism, many people are absolutely sure that India and China will fight a war in the future. Well to avoid letting the public know, both the nations decided to fight a secret and exclusive war by battling underground. One or many of the bombs used underground caused the earthquakes. The tunnel wars are not so secret anymore.
In all due honesty, this isn't quite a real rumour but an act of deliberate casual humour by some Nepalese dudes but it was so outrageous that it deserved to be mentioned.
9. Punishment for the departed Nagas: Well, few of the holy serpents apparently are always killed before major natural disasters, or even man made for that matter. Not surprisingly their ‘murders’ are known only after the disasters befall. This great natural disaster was no different and like every time it happened before, mass astonishment and acceptance for the rationale follows.
If that has been the cause for every disasters of past and future, stop killing them and given the sheer number of disasters, the Nagas should have been extinct by now.
10. Large Hadron Collider: Best known by its acronym LHC that searched for and found the elusive ‘God Particle’ is apparently another suspect. The biggest machine ever built was switched off for maintenance after few years of continuous experiments. Around two years of upgrades later, the particle accelerator was scheduled to switched on for scheduled tests on April 25th, the day of the first great earthquake. Thats when the machine in Switzerland decided to go rogue and cause the earthquake in Nepal.
Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN6fDP9lHK8
11. Wrong Religion: Will anything ever happen in this world without religions being involved? Apparently never. Both negative and positive obsessions with religion can bring in moronic logics into any argument and why should this be any different. It is the wrong or false religion that has about all bad disasters in history. Which false religions are to blame? All of them and none of them. Well, all religions are false except the one I believe in. So, its Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and every other religions that are at fault. The answer differs depending on who you ask.
With every problem comes a solution, even though there were variety of causes that were floating in the air. If you think the causes behind the earthquake were weird, the solution might be even weirder.
1) Chyama puja
There’s no denying that our faith in god is second to none and making him happy is what really matters to us, but why did the gods unleashed his wrath amongst his follower in the first place? Did we do anything wrong? People certainly thought so, hence the ‘chyama puja’, the act of asking forgiveness by doing puja and presenting him various foods, including noodles, biscuits and what not. We thought, god didn’t like junk food.
2) Search for the right and then worship him: Out of thousands or even millions of gods in Hinduism, there has to be at least one whose sole jurisdiction is managing earth or land. It's kinda hard to keep track and ensure that all are being pampered when there are 33 kotis of Gods (not sure how much or how many exactly a koti is). So to prevent earthquake, it is the duty of all Nepalese Hindus to scour the scriptures to find out who exactly should we be sucking up to. Then figure out what the God likes and fulfill it. This procedure may not be useful to you if are a non-hindu.
What happened because of the earthquake is both sad and devastating, the lives that it took and the destruction it caused will always be embed in our heart and mind but life can sometimes be painfully cruel and we have to understand that it doesn’t end there, what we have to do is, we have to look ahead, stay positive and strive for greatness together as a country, together as Nepalese. Disasters are unavoidable and the best path to follow is critical thinking, reasoning and of course optimism for future.