"When the earthquake struck, I was at my parents' house in Kanchanpur. My brother was getting married in a couple of days. We had been waiting for this for a long time and it was supposed to be a happy occasion. We were all laughing and joking. I was planning to stay there for around a week, to spend time with my family and meet old friends.
I did not know what was happening. As soon as I found out about the earthquake, I was devastated. My husband, my three small children and my father in law. Were they safe? What about our house? The next day, I left for home. My brother accompanied me. The roads had wide gaps between them, there was rubble all around. It was a very long journey, and I cried through all of it. When I finally reached Sindhupalchowk, I couldn't recognize anything.
I remember sobbing while my brother held my hand. Just a few days ago, I had a comfortable house, a loving family and suddenly, there was nothing. My husband and daughter's bodies were recovered but they never found my two sons and my father in law. I don't know which was worse, holding my dead husband's body or not knowing what happened to my children. It goes against reason, but in my heart, I hope they made it out alive, that they're out there somewhere and they'll come back some day. What else can I do but hope?"
-Sita Gautam, Kattike Deurale
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