Ode To A Hand Pump
The incredibly edgy TV adverts for Cinthol take me back to my own bathing adventures. Aeons ago, AWOL from college premises to picnic in the forest reserve area of the Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh, rapidly metamorphosed into a near-death-experience at the hands of quicksand. Amazingly, I lived to tell.
What I failed to do, however, was to pay adequate tribute to one of the saviours. One, that not just helped save face, but cleaned it up, too. I talk, quite (un)naturally, of that wonder of wonders that magically pops up where no other source of water dares to trickle: the humble hand pump.
The light-headed aftermath of an unsolicited mud-bath was equalled in stature only by said body squatting under its oh-so-welcome gush of earth-warmed water. That, said body was fully-clothed on a chilly spring morning, provided much mirth to an audience of jhuggi-dwellers constantly in attendance. After all, it was their open-to-all bathing space I was rapidly sullying.
At that point, squeaky clean and all–regardless of drenched clothes, head cold and nasty shock fever– I couldn’t imagine a more literal Alive Is Awesome! moment.