Sunday, September 16, 2007

Spoilsort 2

The first rule of swimming is not to enter unknown waters. It was an old abandoned mill, and Amar knew that few people frequented the place. He had three other friends with him, and he felt a sudden thirst for water. The mill had a basement, a ground floor, that had been flooded with water of at least forty monsoons. There was no outlet, no drain, nowhere for all the accumulated water to go. Life was amazing, because it was not just amphibians that had made this water their habitat, but fish had come here as well, somehow.
The underground walls of the pool were mossy, but the water itself was crystal clear. So Amar decided to go skinny dipping. Even though it was his first time, he felt no shame, he was with friends he knew from a long time ago, and thought it would be fine to go in. He stripped, covered his privates, and entered the water. There were steps leading down to the pool. He felt his legs slipping on the moss a little bit, but he let it go. Tadpoles brushed past his body without caring too much about his presence. There was a bar of cheap soap kept on the last step, he didn't know who had come here to wash up. The others were taking a look around and had no clue that Amar had gone into the water.
Amar was still careful, he was an expert swimmer, and his primary concern was another level below the basement. He didn't know if there was one or not. The worst way to find out was to walk along the floor hoping to hold on to something if a gap opened up below him. He knew that this was the way most people drowned in lakes... because everyone always makes beginners mistakes, and when the floor gave way below your feet, it was easy to panic. Amar had panicked once, in a swimming pool. The idea was to look for coins at the bottom of the pool, and he had let out all the air in his lungs, had gone really deep down, and then panicked when he could not straighten himself to come back up. A lot of people were around him, and he had grabbed the swimwear of some uncle in his panic. Hairy butts are not a pretty sight even underwater. He called out that he was in the water and he got a unintelligible shout in reply.
He felt calm. Dipping was about this he thought. He felt naked at an entirely different level, his body was not the only thing exposed to and at the mercy of the elements, for a few fleeting moments, he actually had fun.
His friends began to call out for him. He ventured further away from the steps. The water flowed all under the mill, and the ground floor had squarish holes in the ground through which the water below could be looked at - manholes, more or less. His friends were looking in through a Manhole, and calling out to him to look at something. He found out that the ground beneath his feet were littered with planks of wood, huge blocks of cement, and other garbage he could not recognize. He walked upto the manhole that his friends were looking in through. He waved to them, they laughed that he had entered such water, and asked if it was safe for them to come in as well.
The splashing was fun. The tadpole catching with a plastic container, also fun. Finding coins was given up after the first one got lost somewhere. Shankar outlasted everyone in trying to hold his breath underwater. Nitin was the fastest in the race. Amar and Shivakumar both had a huge argument over who was second. Tired of all the swimming, they gathered under the manhole and were wondering what to do next.
Amar yelled as a clump of human faeces floated by. He tried to push it away in another direction, sending it towards Nitin. They all hurried out with a lot of splashing, which felt dirty, and no longer fun.

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