You hate to see Grandma disappointed, esp. when you know she'd not have kept it to herself, she'd had everyone possible in this time of crisis. You approach the house to dump your backpack, & then you'll come back to have a drink & a chat with Grandma in the lovely green shade. " What a laugh! The rumours about this place", you smile to yourself. Suddenly you feel a sharp jolt in your chest & turn around ... the jolt felt just like terror,
& the corner of your eye had caught something to trigger that - You look in the direction you came from, & there is nothing. Nothing, that is, in the place where Grandma was standing. You drop your backpack in front of the half closed front door, & go back to the pond. "Grandma!" You call out. You look for the pail. She might have come out, & gone round to clear some shrubs. But the drumming of your heart is just not going away, & now feels like a bad omen.
No, you must stabilize yourself & look around. You inspect the surroundings, the trees are all crowded around the pool, the rest is practically bare, & there was no way Mrs Semcho will not show through. But what is more disturbing is, that she's not answering, wherever she is, & she'd not lost any of her hearing with her age. You decide to check the house, in case she went in from another side, while you were being unnecessarily worried.
You pick up your backpack & drop it on the old traditional rug that your grandma keeps in the receiving room. The windows are hanging dark from the heavily overgrown local ivy. You remove your shoes at the designated place, next to an earthen pot of water, opposite to the Television set which was bought the year you were born, & go inside. You look in the kitchen. The aroma of the meal prepared a little while ago is reassuring. The smell of Grandma, at the moment. You call out again, & look through the cozy little living quarters, the ante-room where she sews & mends, the little bath-cum-water storage, & the strip of a corridor at the back. You open the back door & exit.
Now you are in panic. You can't find her. The inevitable conclusion is that she's ... she's fallen into the water. You run toward the pool. But won't you hear some splash if that happened? Even if she didn't scream out. You have no idea whether Grandma can swim. But is the pool that deep? You suspect it doesn't run more than neck deep anywhere, & Mrs Semcho is a wiry lady, tall for her community. You fold up your jeans, realizing grimly that you're going to waddle deeper than you can fold up. You enter the pond & try to negotiate where exactly she was standing. "Where is the pail?"
You can see no trace of Grandma or the pail, & the water today looks unfamiliar. You're seeing reflections that cannot be of the surrounding trees. These are large forms, but as soon as you start to focus, they dissolve, & the surrounding forms become clearer, same when you try to look at them. Why is the water sparkling today? Not he sparkle of reflected sunlight, but the glimmer of something inherently shiny ... You become irritated with yourself for getting distracted. You will scan through the entire pond. Skim through, if need be. You'll take it all out. "Let it drain, waste, become as putrid as it wants", you think angrily." This obsession put Grandma in such a trouble today!"
Something unthinkable is happening. You are suddenly suffocated, a feeling of helplessness is washing over you. You are frozen to the spot with a sharp headache & dazzled eyes, & feeling cold & drowning. You are having a feeling of being sucked in, & pulled down, down, down. Fear grabs every part of you & you give an involuntary violent shake. You find yourself exactly the same place as you were. You are even more angry with yourself for being a baby. You sigh & start looking at the floor of the pond again.
Your community attaches a lot of importance with feels & omens, & You have always been considered to have more of those extra senses than others. Right now your instincts are telling you that you are not in the exactly the same place as you were. You shake off the eerie feeling, & continue your search. A large deer is drinking at the other side. Deer? You do a double take. There are no wild animals here, it's so far from the Reserve forest, & though you have only seen them in pictures, are deers this huge? You keep staring at the animal, it is majestically beauteous, even in this drought, with a shiny black coat.
It turns & leaves. You shake your head in disbelief & look down to notice more fish life than you thought there is in the pond. For instance, there were never any red fish here! You look around & the whole place looks full, not the way all plants crowded around the pond, & these trees look ancient! Involuntarily, you call out to Grandma. "... Nivo!" You can't believe your ears. & you are not ready to believe till you actually find her. You couldn't hear the whole thing, but caught your name in her voice & you proceed towards the back of the house again.