The Chico river holds many unforgettable memories for me - some good, some bad.
The very fist time I went home from the city when I was 5 yrs old, the river appeared to me as both dangerous and exciting. This is because, my father carried me across the river, atop his shoulders. I enjoyed the "ride" but at the same time fearful that I would topple any moment and be swept with the raging currents swirling around me. The river looked enormous to me then, because all I have seen in the city was a small pond found at the backyard.
When I started primary school, the river served as a vast picnic ground for me and my classmates. During recess and school breaks, we would rush to the river with our pans and pots; wash them, take a swim, go fishing, pick guavas and blackberries and then sometimes cook and stay all day long, just basking in the stillness and beauty of the place. The water was clear, clean and refreshing and the riverbank was of fine gray sand with shiny boulders in between. It was paradise to me.
When I went to the nearby town for my secondary education, the river nearly claimed my life twice. The first time was when we went home amidst a storm and the raging current almost swept me downstream. Thanks to a brave peer, who had been alert enough to rescue me. The second time was when we were diving and my head was struck by a jutting rock that had left me unconscious. Again, friends came to my rescue.
It has been years since I have seen the river. What does it look like now? Someday, I will visit the place and see for myself.