We, implying the duo of Sachin and me, who had been wandering around the countryside in search for damsels in distress in dire need of Knights, their shining armours, steeds and fat bags of gold, came back to our lodgings after yet another futile hunt. This time around we had been hunting in the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan river, which it so happens is very holy for the followers of Jesus Christ (Superstar). The rationale being that this was the very same river where Jesus was baptised by the Baptist- St John, when he was quite young. Now, back in those days, when Myrrh and Frankincense stocks ruled the markets and were worth their weight in gold, they didn't know how to manufacture Sodium Lauryl Sulphate; Dove and Lux weren't even anywhere near their infancy, the Jordan was considered the Holiest of rivers by the Christian world (for the rest, it was Ganga). A dip would cleanse many a sin and crime, (for a detailed report, please contact the nearest Christian theologist or call up the toll free number of your local TV Evangelist) and so the Jordan has been polluted over the millenia and reduced to a trickle mainly due to the very efficient usage of its water by the Israelis and the general lack of rainfall in the middle-east. Not withstanding, the baptism ritual continues to this day with special, flimsy white robes reminding one of long lost cult, marketed as 'Baptism Robes' and bottled water of the Jordan available in the counters for a few dollars (or more).
We didn't bother with the robes and did our best to baptise ourselves by just wetting our heads. I wasn't satisfied with this ritual and went a step ahead to fill up an empty water bottle with the catfish and rodent (who incidentally traced their ancestry to the fish and rats that witnessed the Baptism of Jesus and who proudly narrated this divine sight to their spawn) infested waters of the Jordan. The “holy bottle” was left very conveniently in Sachin's bag to be retrieved at the Hotel when the tour ended; with adequate warnings and advice that it was not to be consumed. The bottle or its existence came to my mind maybe a whole day after the tour, and so I went to inquire about its health. My fears came true when Sachin recounted that he had been quite thirsty the night before and had promptly drank this liquid (much like Alice in her wonderland). Fortunately, for him, his digestive track (and mine too) had seen the likes of many a UFO and toxic substances that faintly resembled food and had grown immune to them, so nothing happened and no casualty was reported. Poor Lewis Carrol, his ghost and its great expectations.