Someone was asking me why I had never noticed the river that went past my place. This dying river wasn’t really near home. perhaps a ten minute walk could take me there. It used to have long sandy banks. Aesthetically good for the river but fatal in the sense that it lured sand robbers, the morons who make away with sand from whatever source they can find and sell it off for construction purposes. Lack of salinity of the river sand makes it a good option for construction. They plunder on till the river becomes a barren mud pit devoid of a soul.
I remember having played on its sands when I was a kid. Was a much awaited weekend outing in those years. We used to dig on till we found water and sometimes the pits we dug used to become quite deep, especially when there was competition in the air. We swam in the shallow waters under the eyes of our folks. Watched the sun go down in all its glory.
That was all pretty long back. The last memory, it seems was when we friends happened to cross it in one of our hitchhiking trips. It was past dusk and visibility was fast reducing. We had either the option of crossing it or take a fairly long roundabout road. That meant more treading and already weary, we decided to cross it. Some waters were deeper than we had imagined and gave us a good fright. One of us lost his slippers and all we could do was watch it distancing from us. The current was picking up pace and visibility was almost approaching zero. Retrieving the same could mean even risking our lives.
Yes, the river. It was always there, whether we noticed it or not. Sure, there is no compulsion on anyone to acknowledge a thing’s existence. On can live by something his whole life, just being by it…