Soon before my college was coming to a close, my friends and I drove down to a nearby lake called ‘Death Lake’ or even ‘Suicide Lake’ by the localites. It’s a pretty self explanatory name and yet, something oddly intriguing about the cliff and this neatly chiseled out circular water body, the depth of which nobody knew.
There were cars and corpses in it, they’d say. And yet, dhobis would sit by the edge smashing white linens onto the wet rocks every evening.
My friends had jumped in once. It was a Sunday and my mother was in town and I had not accompanied them. They all caught a cold that day. Luckily, I didn't.
The next time was the last time we all saw the lake. My friend took off his pants and jumped in. There wasn’t even a second thought about it. I saw another friend do the same. But then, these were boys who had experimented with LSD. And I've heard that sometimes, the effect never leaves you.
Well, I was sober. Too sober. But I did it. I made the plunge. No screams. Just a run up and a jump.
The water pulled me in. It was deep. That is all I knew. I opened my eyes and there was green and blue around me – like trapped ferns in the beautiful world of their own.
I don’t remember why, but it was the most alive I've ever felt.
And at that single moment, probably the most dead.