Don’t tell Mom I was at Musi

My friend Vasu was infamous in his circle of friends. Many were afraid of him as he used to pick up quarrel at the slightest provocation. Surprisingly, we got along well.  

Once the lifeline of the city, the Musi river flows south of my home at a distance of one and a half kilometres. Walking on the banks of the river was fun especially during the summers. We would come across many people from Ramanthapur village cutting grass and loading it on their bullock carts. The place looked serene with green grass all around.

Watching the sunset from these grasslands always looked beautiful. The evenings were cool with the chirping of birds. At a point very close to the banks were many trees including some fruit bearing ones such as Cheema Chintakaya (Sp. Pithecellobium dulce) provided cool shade. Once we felt thirsty, the villagers directed us to a spring. It was very close to the river, yet the water was refreshing and sweet. 

Once we challenged ourselves to walk along the bank till Nagole bridge. We did not know the path but still kept on walking. On the way, we got into knee deep mud. As the fields were irrigated from two parallel irrigation canals upstream, these canals carried sewage from the urban areas. The Para grass grows well with the drainage water and even in the waterlogged condition. The fresh grass is used as fodder for buffaloes to give a good yield of milk. People still prefer to buy fresh milk. 

The earthen bunds separating the fields were narrow at some places. As we were new to the place, we fell into the fields with grass and mud. We made a mess of ourselves and the dirt stuck to our dress like grease. 

We watched the river was in its natural splendour with several water birds along the way. Finally, we managed to reach the Nagole bridge. We washed ourselves and clothes with relatively clean water and left for home. I never shared this incident with my mother.