Tuesday, 21 August 2012

What's with water?

Water, quench my thirst!

Having easily available drinking water is a daily fight for millions of people around the globe. But unfortunately this natural boon is still wasted even though it is our lifeline. I want to write something about my family's personal fight for water. Maybe the story could bring about at least some awareness out there.

While we were very young, the water supply in our apartment building was inexistent to say the least. My parents, brothers and sister would tag me along to the local water well 150 meters away from our home. Each of us had at least one vessel, jug or bucket in which the precious liquid was brought back home. Many footfalls and 3 flights of stairs later, the water could be used for daily chores of cooking, cleaning and bathing. It took some years for our building to actually have a connection to the city pipelines & even more for the running water to reach our 3rd floor flat.

According to my siblings, in the early days our parents got them to take quick baths by pulling out water from the ground level tank. This way the chore of carrying up water was only constricted to cooking and cleaning needs.

 It's funny but recently my sister mentioned how taking a shower or a bath in the west mean two different methods of cleansing one's body whereas in Mumbai if someone says they are taking a bath it is rarely more than a bucket of water with a cup in it. If they are really lucky they actually have water pouring out from the shower!

 Going back to childhood, when the water finally reached us, it would be for 30 minutes in which the entire family would get together to fill in as many buckets and drums that we possessed. In fact those days, our bathroom had more buckets than bathing space. Of course the quantity of water collected directly affected how our day was spent or what food was cooked. We were still lucky that the water reached us during a sane hour. I know many people who only received water once a night or day, at some odd hour which was not disclosed to anyone. They had to keep their taps open the whole day or night and someone was always asked to be present at any given time to do the filling up job.

Now I live in a different world where water is available 24 hours a day in our home. I am grateful.
I still make it a point to have my cup and bucket 'bath' and in my little way contribute against any kind of water wastage.

'What is with me?', I scream angrily
When the sun gets to my head...
The only thing I would like to do is get cozily
tucked in bed.
But this headache does not recede without a doze of chill
that water brings in me when I drink to my fill.

Body needs it, brain cannot function,
without a glass of thee,
You, my friendly glass of water
Are even better than tea.

Clean me fresh, clean me bright,
Hair, teeth and me
Thanks to you I feel nice and fresh
to everyone around me.

Please make your little effort to save this precious natural resource and let me know if you have any tips
at an individual's level. I will try and use it in my life.


  1. Lekhaji,
    I do not know how I came to your blog, but I liked , what I read, and started going through.

    Childhood memories of water filling up is part of our urban Indian culture :-). At least water was available to fill up then.

    Now, it is not even available. We paid Rs.1200/ for a tanker per week, in Summer( bore water). That was also drying up the city!

    In South , all major cities faced water problem. Now it is slightly improved. I dread to think about next summer.

    We wast so much of it. I wonder when people? govt. will wake up. Meanwhile I do my bit.

  2. Thank You Pattuamma, I am honoured that you did wander by here, whatever be the reason :-)
    And even more by your comment about liking it.

    How are those plants doing?
    True, water is a big issue! I hope you are getting enough to feed those greens....yes, really need a collective awakening.
    Have a great day,


  3. Great Lekha,

    water is such an inspiring theme... I think you must have gotten more responsible in your everyday life now than most of us little spoiled Europeans... Sometimes missing things makes you aware of their value. But I think water should be a fundamental right...

    Hope you keep up your poetry especially for human values ;-)

    Cheers (with improved water)