Talking of awesome bathing experiences that make us feel alive, stimulated and ready to take on the world, I have a story to share:
I am a complete "Big City Girl". Born and brought up in Calcutta, presently located in Delhi - I am so very used to the urban life.
Now, we had to be in a far flung village in West Bengal for a project on Rural Housing. I was sceptical about the sanitation facilities, but the villagers went out of the way to make us comfortable. They arranged for our accomodation in their own huts.They had also kept buckets of water handy so that we could freshen up on arrival and get to work. At the end of a very hectic first day, I just sunk into deep slumber!
The next morning, I felt very confused. I walked round and round the house, but could not identify a place to bathe! Finally, I asked Shalu, the host's ten year old daughter, who was watching me playfully.
"Take your things in a packet", she said, grinning. She gestured that I should follow her.
Much to my surprise, she led me past a couple of hutments and through a green stretch that suddenly dipped into a large pond. There were few women in the pool, some of my age group too, swimming around. They didnt seem to notice our presence at all.
Shalu pointed at a rock on which I could keep my things and walked down the rough steps that had been created for entering the pool. This was in such contrast to the pools at clubs where I had learnt to swim, that I stood transfixed.
"Dont you know how to swim?", asked Shalu and dragged me in before I could utter a word. The other girls spread out and allowed me to take a dip. The water felt like a blanket of ice on the surface, but there was a warmth on the lower part. Shalu spluttered some water on me, to which I playfully responded. The others also found it amusing and joined the show! We, in fact divided into two teams, and splashed water on the other team. The competition was all about who could splash more water - and Shalu spruced it up with an energetic song!
Soon, my inhibitions were all gone. I felt like a child once again - the fact that I was there for work vanished from my mind while I enjoyed swimming, dipping, splashing! This is something I can never enjoy in a city - the sheer bliss, no time limits, no rules!
Time seemed to have stopped for us, and none of the girls showed any intention of getting out. We must have in the pond for more than an hour!
It was the ringing of my cell phone that jolted us back to reality - my team was looking for me. I joined them soon after changing behind bushes :P.