The chain reaction of thirst
LOITERING in the streets of Dimapur in the sweltering heat looking for a camera charger made me so exhausted and thirsty. Having received salary on the previous night, I was so tempted to enter a restro and cool myself over a glass of chilled beer. However, I had only Rs 1000 left in my pocket after having paid all bills including my children’s fees and family provision. Perhaps I need to spare the leftover for my auto fare in the days to come. So I spared it for rainy days.However, the thirst was increasing. True the saying – poor people have more appetite. But considering that chilled beer would be expensive at a time when national workers, excise, and civil societies of Nagaland are on a war against selling of IMFL, I gulped down four chilled badum drinks and a cane of coke instead of going for something that would make me dizzy during the day.
May be that was a little too much for my size. Coming to my office chair the problem started. I could not sit through for five minutes. Everything inside my stomach seems to be rolling; my belly ballooned up with gas. I had to go out every time to the gallery on the pretext of winnowing my sada khaini. But the fact to be addressed was a ‘matter of gas’. A time came when I could not bear with the trouble inside. I went out and bought few tablets of Peptica from Signal evening bazaar. Here I saw some people holding mineral water bottles with yellow water in it and enjoying with boiled channa near the vendors. The temptation was too much here. I could not resist any more. I asked the man standing nearby if I could also have a quarter of that yellow stuff in the mineral water bottle. “120 ase dei,” he said. I parted with my Rs 120 as he hurriedly disappeared and came back with a loose quarter. I didn’t know what brand it was.
I gulped down half of the quarter raw and gave the remaining to my colleague in the dark street as we hurriedly walked back to the office. It tastes terrible and churned my stomach. Within minutes the spirit got the upper hand of me. About 10 minutes or so later, my head began to spin. The tiffin for dinner was already on my table and I straight away went for it with the hope that it would somehow relief me. However, I could not put the spoon right into my mouth and the dal spilled onto my table. But the worst was yet to come.
The lady in charge in the office came to discuss a subject and found me with my head hanging down to my dinner plate. I could sense how disgusted she was on seeing one of the senior most staff of the office in such a state. She must have felt the futility to talk at the moment. She went back to her chamber.
I became fine after some 10 – 15 minutes. I felt so sorry to have taken the adulterated yellow stuff. I could not confide the chain reaction of thirst when everybody was so busy on their own desks.
Even though, a terrible experience I had, I realized the vanity of ‘Prohibition’. Now IMFL spills in the streets. And definitely there would be a chain reaction for everyone, not to speak of the revenue loss the state would bear.