By Adda

the misty river...

I woke up to an unusually misty morning...visibility was very limited...I tried to imagine how the river would look like under the mist...there was only one way to find out. Minutes later, I was standing at the bank of the river. I am told that this time of the year the river is at its thinnest due to lack of sufficient inflow of water. The river this morning was not visible. The fog had totally swallowed it. There was no sound of any boat either to break the tranquil silence. For someone who doesn't know there's a river out there, it was just not possible to tell what lies ahead. I decided to walk through the mist and go touch the water. I picked up a muddy trail and started walking, keeping my eyes wide open in an attempt to catch any visual cues. I wanted to know how far the water has receded from the shore so I turned around to see how far I've come from the shore. To my surprise (and excitement), the shore was not to be seen, neither was the river. All that I could see around me was thick white mist and the dark brown cold mud beneath my feet. The muddy trail on which I was walking kept me from completely losing the sense of direction. I wondered what if one wakes up and suddenly finds himself here, in the middle of nowhere. In retrospect, I should have played a little game with myself. I probably should've closed my eyes, randomly turned round and round a few times, open my eyes and then try to find my way back to the shore (or the river). But at that moment, I was so overwhelmed by all the nothingness around me that my mind went completely blank. I took back to the trail and started walking towards the river, or where I thought the river was. Slowly the hard ground gave way to soft wet mud...the ground beneath my feet gave way and I was ankle-deep in mud...and then I saw water. The river was stagnant, like a pond...there was no sound of small waves hitting the shore. I saw a few boats anchored at a distance. I saw a village woman walk up to the river with a bucket full of dirty clothes. I realized that in its 'normal' form, this place would easily be a few men deep. I turned around and this time, the trail was not there...and I didn't have a clue of the exact direction either. I followed my instincts and started moving towards the shore. When I reached, I was a few hundred meters away from where I had initially started. Though I've to admit that I didn't make deliberate attempts to retrace my path but there's no surety either that I would've been able to.

I walked up to the fields, which were also covered by the mist. I saw the peasants digging up potatoes and attending to the crops. A few hours later, I would leave the village in a couple of hours but these last images would remain in my mind for a long time.

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