We friends decided to go shopping on Monday evening , probably owing to the inertia of the long weekend of partying in clubs and night hangouts. I was surprised to find many people at the shopping mall on a Monday and my wait outside the shops while my friend selected what to buy, was not too boring. So after a longggg wait for the friend who wanted to finalize 6 out of 15 T shirts he selected, we went to an outlet of California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) which is supposed to have great pizzas.
Half way through our Pizzas (i will give 6/10 to them), the whole place started shaking.This was the 2nd Earthquake i had felt so strong while the many others were just a jolt or two in office,wherein you just smile at the guy sitting next to you and continue with your work.
At first we felt the table shake, then the plates and glasses on the near by tables added to the clatter..Only the young doorman looked worried while I guess the 'experienced' Californians expected the shaking to stop pretty soon. Only one friend at our table was not feeling the quake while the rest of us were looking at the exit and waiting for a sign when we know its time to make a run for it. Once he also felt the shakes we all stood up in unison and made a run for the door. Being on the first floor of a big shopping mall made me uneasy as open ground was no where near.
5 seconds later we all were standing outside the restaurant, standing on the edge of the railings at the first floor balcony and looking at all directions to see if the shaking had stopped or not, as the quake was not strong anymore. We could still see the lamp posts in the parking lots shake and also felt the vibrations in the iron railings running through out the perimeter of the shopping mall. We were standing at a place overlooking the open center podium of the shopping mall, looking in all directions for signs of damage when a friend smiled and pointed out something in the center of the Shopping mall in the floor below...Slowly my eyes also found what he was pointing to...a couple holding each other tightly and sharing a passionate kiss at the center of the shopping mall floor, when the whole world was shaking around them...
It was not like in movies where in all the shopping mall started to clap and the couple suddenly broke away from the kiss only to look around sheepishly... In reality people just returned to their life and we returned to our Pizzas before they got cold, giving the couple their 'privacy' at the center of the shopping mall floor.
Sometimes Life is much more beautiful in its plain simplicity...
PS : The quake was put at 5.7 on the ricther scale and was an after shock of the Easter day quake of 7.2 magnitude. Click here for details on California's quakes.