Here, your tea is ready – strong, sweet, flavoured with cardamom. Enjoy it, Sir, while I get on with my chores. This is my daily routine. At sunset, I will shut my shop and walk back the three miles to my dwelling on the hillside.

     The name of my village?

     It was my village. The village of my ancestors.

     It is no more. Molthi is gone.

     What happened to my village?

     It was four years ago, in the month of October. One night the earth quaked. Yes, tremors are common in these parts. These snows may seem eternal, the Himalayas may look solid, but the truth is, deep down they are unstable. We, who live here, are accustomed to tremors.

     But what happened that night was more than that. It was a terrible earthquake. Its effects were felt as far away as Delhi and Lucknow.

     Can you imagine the devastation at the heart of the earthquake?

     The epicentre was in a valley not far from here. There were six hundred and seventy villages in the valley. Six hundred and two were destroyed. The earthquake lasted less than five minutes. Time enough to set these centuries old mountains crashing, to reduce our villages to rubble, to snuff out hundreds of lives.
Meanwhile, Brij had finished preparing the tea. It was aromatic as he had made it strong with cardamom flavour. He handed over the tea to the person and continued with his duties. He said it was his daily schedule. He would close the shop around dusk and walk three miles to his house on the hills.
The person asked the name of his village. He said he did not have a village anymore. Molthi was the name of his village which did not exist anymore. Brij started explaining about what happened to his village. Four years back, there had been an earthquake in the month of October. Though mild earthquakes called tremors are common in these areas, this one was huge. The snow in the region seem to exist forever, and the Himalayan mountains may look hard and strong, but actually it was very shaky under its surface. That night, they experienced a massive earthquake, the shakes of which were felt till Delhi and Lucknow. The destruction caused by the quake was unimaginable.
The main focus point of the earthquake was very close to his teashop. \(602\) villages out of \(672\) were destroyed within five minutes of the earthquake. But five minutes was enough to crush the mountains which were hundreds of years old. It had extinguished numerous lives and the village was brought down to remains of demolished buildings!
The village was reduced to a rubble, within a few minutes!
Meanings of difficult words:
eternallasting or existing forever; without end
epicentrethe point on the earth's surface vertically above the focus of an earthquake
rubblewaste or rough fragments of stone, brick, concrete, etc., especially as the debris from the demolition of buildings
snuff outextinguish, put a sudden end to
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-2 English Standard-9. Earthquake - Mr. M.S. Mahadevan (pp. 154-160). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.