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How A Journo Travelled Across Quake-Hit Nepal To Deliver Whiskey

How A Journo Travelled Across Quake-Hit Nepal To Deliver Whiskey

Ellen Barry, the South Asia bureau chief of the New York Times, narrates how she travelled 15 miles through Nepal ravaged by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent after shocks to a remote village, just to deliver a bottle of whiskey. 

It so happened that the nanny to her children who is from Nepal lost her father in the devastating April 25 earthquake leaving behind her ageing mother. Barry and her husband offered to fly her from Nepal to Delhi but it was turned down. There was only one request — could Barry bring her 80 year old mother a bottle of whiskey? 

Thus Barry undertook her 14 hour long journey on a broken-down, treacherous road where she was "whipped around like atoms in a particle accelerator". And this is what happened when she got there:

I found Mrs. Tamang sitting among piles of stones: tiny, her spine curved, missing most of her teeth. I asked her three times whether she would come to Delhi, and three times she refused. Everyone knew that trouble was coming. When the monsoon arrives, the road will become too dangerous for vehicles to pass. And nobody knows how long the food will hold out. Still.

“I will have to die where my husband died,” she said. She thanked me for the whiskey. When I told her she was stubborn, she agreed, clearly pleased. So we headed back — without the lady, without the whiskey. 

Read Ellen Barry full account here.

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