“Bindiya….Bindiya…wake up my child” a voice said; her mother’s voice. It had been years since she last met her mother. “You have ruined her with all your senseless affection” her father said; a father who always considered her as a burden. The voices seemed to be coming from far away. “Bindiya..Bindiya” it echoed. “You have ruined her…you have ruined her” sometimes loud, sometimes distant; sometimes real, sometimes hallucination. She had fever for entire night. Sometimes she felt as if her mother is caressing her head and then opened her eyes searching for her mother.
She woke up with sweat on her forehead. She was not sure if she was actually awake this time. She looked around to see if the room was still swinging, then slowly got up. Her throat was parched. She walked up to the pitcher only to find out that there wasn’t a drop of water left. Her husband knew about her fever however did not consider it important to leave water for her, let alone bring some from the well. She knew that in this neighbourhood nobody would give her water. Water was the most precious possession and lead to arguments, spats and murders. You would not be able to buy a glass of water with a kilo of gold around here. After all, you cannot drink gold.
She looked again in the pitcher. There was some water left. She dipped a cup and had a gulp. She looked again. There was still some water left. She again dipped the cup and had another gulp. The water was still left so she picked up the pitcher and drank to her content. The water flow did not stop. She found it difficult to breathe under such heavy water flow. She gasped for air. She woke up again. “Bindiya….Bindiya” her mother’s voice echoed. She had not slept. She could not tell whether she was sleeping or not. Why was she feeling so thirsty even after drinking so much water? She looked into the pitcher. It was as dry as a bone. She once again looked around to make sure the room was not spinning around her.
She picked up the pitcher and started walking towards the well. In normal days she took around twenty minutes to reach the well. The sun was at its best. It seemed that it had descended on earth itself. There was not a single tree or bush on the way, but yes you could make friends with some snakes and scorpions. “We should send Bindiya to stay with my sister in town. She can go to school and study” her mother said. “You crazy old witch! I have called people to see her next week. I am getting her married. Don’t fill her head with crazy ideas.” Her father shouted. She sat down after walking twenty steps. There was a woman coming with a pitcher of water. She poured water in her hands. She tried to drink water but her hands could not hold it. Her hands started melting and so did the pitcher and the woman with the pitcher. “Take this money and run away. This is the address of my sister in town. Run away my child. This life is not for you” her mother’s hand trembled. Her face melted with tears. She always wondered how tears always manage to roll even with so less water to drink. Why was everything melting around her? A bee sat on her eyes. “Run away…run away…run away” kept echoing in her ears. She opened her eyes.
She walked like a ghost, unaware of the direction and unsure of whether she was actually walking or not. She reached the well and drank water many times. She would have imagined rain also but unfortunately she had never seen actual rain. She had only heard about it. Her mother had told her to run. Her mother gave her some money and a bag. She started running. She fell and broke the pitcher. Where were the money and the bag that her mother had given? She had to run.
She had reached the well. “This life is not for you” her mother had said. She had never seen a pond. She wanted to sit in water for so long that her soul got wet. There is only one way. She jumped.
That night she came back home. “It is too dark. I cannot run away” She had told her mother. Her mother froze and could only mutter “This is not dark. The dark will come.”