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The return of the cold water bath has meant a lot of shower thinking time.

Nothing can compare to the feeling of cold water hitting your skin at 8AM when you’re groggy and it’s humid/cold outside. You would’ve sweat through the night, and you really need 8 more hours of sleep, yet, here you are, awake and pretending to be in your senses while you mindlessly brush your teeth.

Someone’s playing a song in the stall and you’re trying to understand how on Earth someone can be so bubbly so early in the morning.

On your way in, people are walking out – which is amazing considering you did attendance calculations to figure out whether to wake up at all.

And then you turn on the hot water tap. With what hope, what prayer, nobody knows. Yet, you turn it on, hoping for a clear stream with some steam. You turn it around more when no water arrives, hoping a water pressure issue means that the tap only functions when it’s fully on. No luck.

So you sigh, and yell at the void: “Garam paani hai kya?”

And because you’re a senior now, people reply “Nahi”. One junior will say “Nahi sir” and you’ll tell him never to call you sir again.

He will call you sir that evening.

You will sigh.

And you’ll turn on the low-pressure, cold water tap. You’ll run your fingers through it at ten second intervals so it feels warmer each time. You’ll check your phone because the pressure’s so low, the bucket’s still filling up.

Then some hopeful will come searching for stalls. You’ll smile, knowing fully well that you’ve earned this stall – and that you aren’t exiting for another 10 minutes.

That’s when you’ll shut the door and begin bathing.

The real demon is your back, man. Everyone talks about how cold water can freeze your extremities, but it’s really just your back that’s tough to get through. Once your back adjusts, you’re fine and you almost start feeling warmth in the cold water.

Someone swears.

Clearly they’re new here.

You return to your room and change and head to classes.

The feeling of cold water remains etched in your memory, ready to revisit tomorrow.

The worst part is that you can experience the same cold daily, yet every day feels colder than the last. I’m looking for a Spotify playlist to help me get through this.

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