He walked under the scorching sun for hours in the busy street and sweated profusely, depleted of energy. Suddenly, he was thirsty and was longing to see a shop to buy a bottle of cold Bisleri. No shop could be spotted, not in the looming distance. He cursed his destiny. It was a new city in the outskirt when he set on a crazy journey to explore for days. Zooming on a bike for days, he finally stopped at this destination and the traveler in him, handed the Yamaha bike to the renting company. Taking upon himself to explore a new city and new life, he was suddenly transported to an alley and steps took him to the small but modest railway station.
Kids could be spotted playing cricket in the galli, their tiny legs soaked in mud as village women, spinning their saree till their thighs carried buckets of water on their head. He suddenly felt a glimpse of hope and almost reached out to them, asking a drop to quench his thirst. ‘But, it’s not cold water.’ As he turned towards the women, they disappeared in the flick of second. He wanted to kick himself in the ass. After all, who is the thirsty man who let water disappear like this? Stop whining, the soul tells him. Own up to your decision to see life in the country side, far away from the hum-drum of city life, malls and super fast cars and, of course, the beautiful girl-friend.
He almost jumped with joy when he spotted a water tap at a looming distance. To reach the water to save his energy, he got to cross the railway track, especially after someone told him that he wouldn’t spot a dingy shop. For that, he has to take the municipal bus that will reach the other end of the outskirt in an hour. He pulled his motionless body, showing sign of weakness and pushed his legs forward as he climbed the platform from the gap on the muddy terrain and pressed his hand on the cement slab, rolling his body like a soldier in war zone. Finally, he crossed the railway track and reached his destination. He felt a sense of jubilation and groveled in front of the water tap as if he has finally found God. A sudden spurt of the tap water flew on his face and he rolled droplets in his mouth like his favorite chocolate. He felt the water hard to swallow down this throat to quench his thirst. It didn’t matter that gush of water flowing was not freezing cold but it’s water.
It was his moment of truth. He wouldn’t imagine that tap water in a distant rural village would be his savior. On the spur of the moment, life was suddenly stopped and his looked around to see not a single life could be spotted. The water has suddenly stopped. He felt a burning sensation in his parched lips and dry throat. He furiously twist the tap and shake it violently like soldier toggling with his rifle. The water has suddenly stopped running.