CLOSE TO DROWNING


CLOSE TO DROWNING

 

It happened when I was a pre-schooler. My younger brother followed me like a shadow then. My parents entrusted me with the care of him.

 

One day in early summer, my brother and I were playing around in the village. On the edge of the village, a new channel had been dug out by the villagers to bring water from a stream to the parched fields. The channel was full of water. At some places some villagers dammed the channel so that a big pond was formed.

 

Brother and I came to the pond. At first we threw pebbles and rocks into it. It was great fun. Then I heard my brother murmuring, “Brother, I want to bathe in it.” I remember telling him not to. The next moment he disappeared.

 

Although I did not witness it, I was sure he had slipped into the pond, for bubbles were coming out of it. I was so panic-stricken that I froze then and there. Unluckily there were no other kids around. I simply stood there, dumbfounded. I was not even able to cry for help.

 

Some distance away one of my uncles was working in his vegetable garden. He noticed me behaving weirdly at the pond. He also noticed that my little brother was nowhere to be found. So he rushed over.

 

Still speechless and ashen, I simply pointed to the water when the uncle arrived. He jumped into the channel and pulled the brother out.

 

Because my parents had been working a long way away from the village at the time, the uncle took my brother to his home and got him changed.

 

All that happened in 1976 or 1977.

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