In Search of Humanity

“Pow!” The cannon went off at Maghrib Athan at the end of a Ramadan day as we started hording at the water tank like a swarm of ants over a glistening speck of sugar.
Trying to drown the cacophony and the “hey that’s my cup!”- bickering, I felt my mind drift. Amidst the hustle and bustle of the first 5 minutes after Maghrib prayers I nonchalantly let my thoughts free…
Water, water, it fills our world and how it filled my brain then!

12 noon at Tanta was my mind’s first stop.. The reddened backs of 12 year old boys squatting over a pressure pipe, the fierce burning sun glowing off their backs, water trickling down their forehead and trickling down the mouth of the pressure pipe,
were traces of what I strongly recall.
I could taste the sourness of the agony in their eyes, and the stench of sour childish sweat stuffing the atmosphere.
And suddenly, a purge in the middle of my chest overtook me as a 7 year old girl tried to weave her way through the lurking crowd of boys.
Clutching nothing but a tiny red cup in her tiny battered hands, she threw me a look as if blatantly shouting out, “I never plead to breathe, why should I suffer!”
Within that glimpse the empty cup was snatched from her hand. Even empty cups are stolen here, I remember thinking. And a piercing scream was all that she could muster to respond with. “No! No! No!” my voice echoed through my brain at the heart aching sight of the girl. I wanted to look anywhere, anywhere but at the girl, anywhere where there’s freedom, freedom from the poverty stricken land, freedom beyond ground level…
The sky, yes the sky…
As that piercing agony drifted away, I stared at the exquisite beauty above me. And I thought through squinting eyes, how could such beauty and serenity lie right above such disgrace!
How could all that twirling of the clouds, the blowing of the winds, the rotation of the earth, the rotation of the planets surrounding us, the greenery before our eyes, and even the glistening sun be there just to provide us with water, and yet, we pant for water in the dirt??!

Taken aback by someone shoving the cup in my hands, I came back to my senses, thanked God for every particle of water filling my veins and felt how the whole universe has been dedicated to pour that amount of water in that tiny cup. AH! No it wasn’t just a cup of water…

Please share that exquisite feeling with me and let’s cherish every drop of water…

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