Aayo (Part I)

Home is Where the Hair Is


The Nepali word aayo translates to ‘it comes,’ ‘it’s coming,’ or ‘it came.’ It’s used constantly in every-day speech in many different contexts. One of my favorite usages is the happy shout of “batti aayo!” when the electricity comes back on after a scheduled outage.

But on April 25th, 2015, the 7.8 magnitude ‘Great Quake’ struck Nepal and aayo took on a whole new meaning.

In the days and weeks that followed the quake, a chorus of “aayo!” would erupt from the crowds with each new aftershock. I came to associate the word with the trembling of the earth so closely that the moment I heard it -whether it was being used in the context of an aftershock or not- I would instinctively prepare for the worst.

Aayo. It’s coming.

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