Walking through the foul smelling water that was upto my calves, I found my desperation mounting. The water was all around me. I should have probably been grateful that it wasnt rising any more, but I was beyond looking for solace in the smaller things. If only I could get away to somehwere dry. Someplace where the water was clean and didnt smell.
No, I wasnt caught in a flood (though with all the rain and the infrastrucutre in Bangalore, thats not a remote possibility). The scene of the deluge was my flat. The washing machine’s pipe had apparently come loose, and as a result, half my flat was inundated under the machine’s discharge before I noticed it.
So I found myself armed with a mop gazing at more water than I cared to see even in a bath tub. I began with a few uncertain swipes and soon realised that evaporation would probably be faster. That was when my thoughts were the darkest. I was debating letting the flat dry on its own when, an idea struck me. I might have said a brilliant idea, but somehow I cant classify anything that involves me spending half an hour of rigorous physical work under that category.
I took out a towel I’d got as a gift from a well meaning relative with a limited imagination. The towel had an image of a lion with its mouth wide open that tended to appear at an inappropriate location when worn, so I hadnt used it untill now. I finally put it to good use, letting it absorb the water on the ground and then wringing it over a bucket.
If the water level had been a little higher, I could have used a mug to scoop it off, but as it was it was just below the level where the mug would have been useful. I dont htink it could have been better executed if it had been planned. So I spent the next several minutes in an awkward sequence of squatting, wringing, grunts and curses. The water had made the floor slippery, and there were several occassions when I could have been felled, but with a controlled tread an ice hockey player would have been proud of, I made it out of the swamp that half my flat had become, unharmed, but with a sore back and a running string of expletives on my lips.
I was thinking about how messed up God must feel after a flood, when I heard the washing machine beep to indicate it was done. Once again I stepped gingerly across the semi wet floor, and pulled my clothes out of the machine. At the bottom I found almost a hundred rupees worth of notes. It was almost like compensation for a prank someone had played on me.