Actor Anuj Sachdeva is currently in a messy mental state, having seen the devastating impact of the earthquake that shook Nepal and parts of northern India.
Anuj, who was in Nepal for a wedding, said, “It was a devastating feeling and was really scary. I was in the airport when suddenly we felt the entire building shake. Every one of us ran to save our lives and the only way to exit was the runaway. Since there was no way out, I broke one of the glass doors with my bag and helped others move out to safety in the open.”
“The tremors were so strong, and occurred every 15 minutes that we all panicked. When it finally settled down a bit, I went back to my hotel to be in a safe position. I must mention here that if you are with someone during such situations, the emotional bond keeps you strong but if you are alone, it is a terrible state. I am thankful to the hotel authorities who helped not only me, but many others with shelter, food and care. It was a relief to be protected but I was craving to come back home,” he added.
The next day when Anuj reached the airport, the place was packed with people. Sadly, there was no trace of the Indian Embassy officer, making things difficult. As much as he tried to find a way back home, the airlines he was booked on didn’t show any signs of flying back to India. This is when another earthquake hit.
“As it is we hadn’t slept the entire night in order to run to safety every few minutes. Having experienced more than 65 tremors in a matter of few hours, I was shaken completely. Thankfully, this is when we were informed that the Indian Air Force rescue team had sent a special aircraft to get people back. But when I reached the authorities, I was in for another setback.”
Anuj was informed by them that only people registered with the embassy will be allowed to fly back. And since the officer was not present he couldn’t get himself listed. The actor was left juggling with the airlines and the authorities but all seemed vain with no way back home.
“I had lost hope that the airline would be of any help and thus fought with them to get my luggage. And carrying my 40 kgs bag in my hands, I ran back to the rescue team and pleaded with them to let me in. But they just didn’t seem to relent and were only allowing women to board the extra seats.”
Having completed their check the aircraft was all set to fly back to India, leaving Anuj alone. He masked himself with a turban and wore glasses to disguised himself to get a chance, but nothing seemed to work out, when God finally answered his prayers.
“I kept on requesting the captain who was declining it when suddenly as the engine roared he called me in. I was so relieved to get that seat to come back home.”
The actor said, “I think such experiences can change your entire thought process and I feel a void in me at the moment. I still haven’t been able to sleep as it has been a maddening experience. The country has lost a lot and with rains coming in, it has further deteriorated the situation.”
Bless you, Anuj!