boom kaboom noises in the dead of night

while panditji snored softly in Minnesota, behenji was rudely awakened in california at 3:32 am by a loud thud. our house is old and since it's a rental, it's not exactly updated, if you know what i mean. i hear sqeaks from doors and windows, the floor groans on ocassion, tiles do crack under behenji's heavy feet but that's not all...when we flush the toilet, it sounds as if a jet is about to take off...no exaggeration.

well last night it was none of those things. i got up muttering to myself why PJ had to be out of town when stuff like this happened, heard the loud ticking of the wind-up alarm clock which panditji would like to throw in the pacific ocean, looked at conan o brian laughing at me through the telly and waited for a thief to rob our threadbare house.

when that didn't happen i dozed off only to be rudely awakened by the alarm clock which i wanted to now throw into the pacific. the tv, which i kept on whole night, reported a small earthquake literally next door.

i looked outside and saw my daughter's bike lying on its side and put two and two together (yes behenji does that occasionally).

earthquakes are an everyday reality here. at school, my daughter and her classmates all have disaster relief kits in their classrooms with bottled water, power bars, an insulated blanket and flares. parents are advised that in the case of an earthquake we should not rush to the school premises to find our child.

thankfully, the tremors are usually small, but they are a daily occurence in california. one which only seismologists pay attention too. no one reads that corner of the paper (at least i don't) where the quakes are listed in all its scaley glory.

the first time we came to california, we were having dinner at a friend's place when the windows started rattling. knock, knock, we are the spirits of mission san jose. then the dining table shook as if our dinner were a seance. for a second we all froze with fear. and then we all matter-o-factly said 'its just an earthquake.' Much in the same manner a Minnesotan says, 'oh it's only 12 inches of snow or it's only minus five out there, now bundle up.'

was behenji scared? not after she recited the hanuman chalisa;)