A grieving child standing beside a pyre at Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu after Nepal earthquake 2015.
The earthquake killed more than 8,800 people in Nepal and injured nearly three times as many. The rural death toll was low as many villagers were outdoors when the quake hit. 6,271 people, including 1700 from the 12 May aftershock were injured by the disaster. Nearly 3.5 million people were left homeless*.
In the temple, there were elevated platforms where a series of dead bodies were burned in lines, there were deaths in each family and grief was so widespread that funerals became mechanical, with fewer and fewer people as one often moved from one funeral to the next. This is when I came across this child standing beside a burning pyre. He turned around to face the other direction of the pyre and kept standing like this for a long time. I always wonder what was going on in his head in that moment even as he stood in this position beside the pyre of someone he loved. Parajuli, Rishi Ram; Kiyono, Junji (1 January 2015). “Ground Motion Characteristics of the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, Survey of Damage to Stone Masonry Structures and Structural Field Tests”. Frontiers in Built Environment. 1: 23. doi:10.3389/fbuil.2015.00023.