ARTIST – SUMAN RAI
PHOTOGRAPHY – ANMOL SHRESTHA
INTERVIEW – BHUWAN ROKKA
TRANSLATOR – UTSAV PRADHAN
Originally from Solukhumbu District in the Everest region, Kaji is a trekking guide and outdoor adventurer. When the 2015 earthquake struck,on saturday he was in Everest Base Camp leading a trek. The sudden shift in land caused a massive avalanche which raced down to his group’s encampment.
During the earthquake I was at Everest Base Camp. Saturday, after the earthquake, our camp was left with nothing. It looked like a plain field. I was in my friend’s camp, 5 minutes away. Everyone thought an avalanche came and swept everything away. An avalanche came, but only the wind from the avalanche reached us. No solid ice came, only wind, the wind pressure. That was 10 times bigger than usual. It looked like a part of the mountain had been chopped. It came from between Pumori and Lingtren [mountain]. Because of that, around 21/22 foreign friends lost their lives. 5 people from my team also died. My camp was also totally destroyed and so many died on the spot. Death is death, we had to think about the survivors because it is cold so we quickly put them in sleeping bags. We sent them to the medical team.
Some people survived. Those who died on the spot were in one second – when the wind threw them up – knocked against the rocks. They couldn’t say, ‘Ayaa.’ There was one Canadian-Indian and another Chinese and one Japanese. The Japanese died during the rescue heli-flight to Kathmandu. Our kitchen boy and one Sherpa died at the Base Camp after they were lifted up in the air and hit the ground. All of our kitchen supplies were blown away from base camp to as far as Nupche face. We all cried on that day.
The first news I got was after two days and there no news about Everest Base Camp. When I was climbing down, the first new I heard about Kathmandu was that it was all collapsed, nothing left. My whole family is in Kathmandu. It meant that my family was gone. Gone means there was nothing left. No one answered their phone. No one answered for three days. While I was coming down from Tenboche, I called my friend and he answered. I asked him please go and check on my family, they aren’t answering. He answered, your family is all safe. Then I was so happy. I felt relieved. I arrived in Lukla and after staying there for three days and I didn’t get a plane. So I walked down to my village in Solu and went to my own village, checked my house, then I arrived in Kathmandu.
First of all, you have to make sure that people are in a bad condition. You have to see the problem with your eyes, not from mouth. After looking, then you’ll know their problem. After the earthquake, many people changed and now they are greedy. They don’t work. They’re lazy. I saw many people who don’t wory and are billionaires. And you saw that.