shrill voice echoes

Friday, May 2, 2014

May Wave

  Nicky couldn’t bear it. It was getting excruciating now.She asked the chauffeur  to quickly switch on the AC straight after he opened the car door for her. “Just a minute Madam” .The sweltering heat at Moras in the Rajasthan-Gujarat border  had left her mouth scorched . Her polarized wayfarers were transmitting the UV rays that made her eyes dance. No sooner had she ensconced herself in the back seat of the SUV than she reached out for the Coke can to quench her seemingly insatiable thirst. Alas! The coke can had conducted the heat inside and the secret formula was no longer a “cold drink”.“Bhanu Bhaiya can we find some mineral water nearby?” Nicky Seth asked her driver.“I have exhausted all the five mineral water bottles  I was carrying”.
    Nicky thought again of her hectic morning.She had reached Moras early morning at 7 am . Since then she had given speeches at the local Panchayats,Gram Sabhas. The men were mesmerized by the glamour their upcoming Neta exuded in the humble but chic white Salwar Suit she was wearing . She had walked some 6-8 kms around the village schools and promised that she would ensure better education infrastructure if her father came to power. She had visited  the women self help groups and listened to their daily problems.The snake bites that had taken away the lives of children. The problem of men leaving back families at Moras while they went looking for work outside village and state. Her economics  education at King’s College had already made her aware of these problems. The last time Nicky had visited the place was when she had to present a paper on "Poverty and deprivation-How to create opportunities ".  She remembered how little had things changed over a period of 10 years. 10 years back she and her friends from College Colleen and Markus had accompanied her to Rajasthan. Indeed it was a romantic land for tourists.
    Nicky had fallen asleep in a jiffy and when the SUV buckled under the stony pathway  on the road she woke up to feel thirsty again. She glanced at her watch and saw that it had only been twenty minutes since they had started from Moras and her palate was crying out for water.
“Bhanu Bhaiya,can Is there no where we can get water?”
“Madam we have to reach Jodhpur for that or we could stop any passing car and ask for water”
Nicky didn’t consider that a safe option. She wished she had listened to her dad’s advice of landing at Moras on a chopper. Had she not been crazy and adventurous to have taken the austere option of travelling in the SUV. She was getting delirious. Suddenly she was struck by a bright flash in her mind. She reached her hands for her handbag and after rummaging through the inner recesses found out the chewing gum that had been  there . 
“How far Bhanu Singh from Jodhpur are we?”
“2 hours and half Madam”
“Damn It!”, She thought.  Nicky didn’t even have network on her cellphone.
The strawberry flavor in her mouth gave her some respite. Nicky switched on her I-phone and what a coincidence. I-tunes was streaming “The desert rose” . In a while Nikita Seth's rumination led her to a state of senselessness.Somewhere in the deep pockets of her unconscious mind she could see a water pond. As soon as she came near the water there was this barren stretch of land again. Mirage! and she fainted.
     "She is alive. She is fine now."  Nicky couldn’t understand the delightful cheer . It took a few moments for her to understand what was going on. Rhodopsin bleaching in her eyes. She rubbed her eyes to see 3 women cheering in Rajasthani  while Bhanu Singh stood next and asked her, “Madam are you fine?”
She asked Bhanu,” What’s going on?” Bhanu explained her that she had fainted on the back seat and luckily the bevy of women were travelling from one village to another carrying water. Hesitantly he asked for their help and they delightfully splashed water on her face to awaken her. Nicky thanked them with a mighty heart. She had avoided drinking in the village water all throughout the morning thinking it would be unhygienic and not  potable but now she could drink water from any source. She  gulped as one of the women poured water on her cupped alms.Nicky tried to thank them by tipping them with a 500 Rs note which they accepted  after initial hesitation.
  Nicky reached her mansion at Jodhpur in the evening . After a big sigh of relief  she narrated her story to her dad. She extorted a promise from her dad that if he became the MP again this year he would do something about the water issue at  Moras. Her dad said “The place is geographically handicapped Beta .There is not much that I can do” .  She argued that there must be some way.
Later in night she tweeted "Water is life. Thanks to the women of Rajasthan”and shared the photo on facebook with a caption “Incredible India!”
 After reading and checking the responses on her posts Nicky decided to relax and call it a day after her regular evening swim . She went to their mansion’s pool and  found the dewatering pump emptying the swimming pool.Irony she thought.
"Abundance in Scarcity or Scarcity in Abundance?" She tweeted standing next to the pool.

3 comments:

Atul Prasad said...

Her dad said “The place is geographically handicapped Beta .There is not much that I can do”

"OMG!Scarcity in Abundance" She tweeted standing next to the pool.

2 lines sum it all

The Broken Symmetry said...

As the comment above comment says...two lines sum it all. I just wish people were more sensitive. Even now, I have to struggle to convince people to switch off the lights and ACs when they run idly! Sad but true fact- We just have a degree but we are not educated!!!

me said...

Well expressed. The story captures one current and temporary event "the elections" and one perpetual issue "Scarcity" and connects them seamlessly. Even though the weather here is beautiful today, reading this I could feel the thirst and heat of the desert.