HOLY HAI!

What? Bible or Quran?

For once can we not be so feeble in our thoughts. How can anything that claims to unite, but only has proved to be a reason to divide time and again, be termed Holy?challenge

I was only talking about Water.

And not really about the “holy” rivers of our country, just because – as the legend goes- some drops of Amrit fell in them a few centuries ago! But if that is what makes you save our rivers, so be it!

And you know what, I will tell you a secret that they will never tell you. Water, Air, Earth are holy not only on festivals or certain days but every day! Oh yes, every-single-day! Can you believe it? – Market mein naya hai, jaldi forward karo!

Why is it that in last few years, our hidden-environment-enthusiast pops up for the birds during Sankranti, water during Holi, Air and noise pollution during Diwali? Because, in olden times people used the resources judiciously and lived frugally every day and celebrated elaborately, whereas today, we live like we own the planet every day, and celebrate “judiciously”. True story.

We all know this week saw two of the most contradictory days “celebrated” one after the other. We all endorsed save water, and took an oath to do so on World Water Day. Oh, but how can we help it if it was so badly timed, only two days before Holi – and like any New Years’ resolution, even this one didn’t stick around even for 48 hours! All of us enjoyed Holi, and if anyone tried to remind us about our conscience around water scarcity, we coloured them saying – Bura na mano, Holi hai! Actually not all of us. Because some of us at Nashik are still awaiting our turn to play colours on Monday! Oh yes, there was a Raj Thackeray even in those days, who decided we won’t play colours on the same day as Biharis.

I for one am not a very enthusiastic endorser of “water-less Holi”. Firstly, if you play only with dry colours, it is going to take you all that water you were trying to save, to get that Chinese powder off your body! And secondly, I don’t have proper statistics right now, but I am sure by not playing Holi, we may consume not more than 5% more water than on a normal day – when we swim in our private swimming pool, followed by a relaxing tub bath, getting ready just in time to attend the rain shower party a friend’s small wedding function of only 1000 people! Phew. That’s such a tedious relaxation routine, that one may need to go to Dubai and book a villa next to the man-made beach as a relaxing holiday from this relaxation routine! Oh, did I mention all this wastage, oops usage, is only for relaxation?

The point is, let’s leave our hypocrisy at home on festivals, and adopt a sustainable lifestyle each day, every day. Our yesterday’s lesson – the planet is dying- is today’s reality! We don’t have any more time!

The well cannot get any drier.

The reality cannot strike any harder.

But alas, we aren’t growing any wiser!

Oxy-Morons

What I am going to write about now is a actually a paradoxical situation, but I never leave an opportunity to use a bad pun! 😉

Morons – that’s what they actually are.

With ‘they’, I mean people in authority, people who think they have a right to decide who gets what resources, and impact the lives of millions, and people who actually do, but are not responsible enough!

With the work I have chosen to do all my life, I have to visit these tiny villages, sometimes located in the most mesmerising locations! This little world of people has a world of it’s own problems. Here they are struggling to live. To live at least till the next moment, next day. When you visit them, you realise the whole futility of trying to find life somewhere else when we can’t even respect most of them here. Now. At this moment. Alive.

Last week I set out to go to a tiny place, near Kasara.

At the first glance, it was a breath-taking view! Wow. What more could one ask for! I mean people pay crazy amounts to go live in a place like this – be it only for 5 days! I was standing at one of hills surrounding Upper Vaitarna dam, and this village was right in front of me on another hill. What beauty!

But there was no road to get there. So we climbed down the hill we were standing on, and climbed up the adjacent one! No connect, no roads is the just the beginning of their miseries. It did not hit me so hard till we actually reached the village, and oh my, what I saw was what I used to think was just a sure-shot formula for a successful movie! People had no water to drink. TO DRINK. Forget spa, jacuzzi, have a bath, or even cook! Let us not even speak about water therapies! They did not have water to drink, when they were surrounded by a dam, that gives water about 200kms away! I cannot emphasize on this more!

Government is trolling them. In their face!

Can you see the little rocky trench? Can you see a little wet portion above the 3 buckets in the trench? So what actually is happening is, there a few drops of water coming out of those rocks – and this is “paani aaya” situation for them! This is how they fill water. Drop-by-drop. And can you see the queue of vessels? By the time even one fills up, we would have wasted 10 of those – just putting things in perspective!

We have heard this a lot. I mean I won’t say I haven’t seen millions of pictures (award-wining) or videos where people are struggling to fill their bucket. It doesn’t hit you so hard, till you don’t see it. For yourself. It was the saddest, the most helpless moment of my life for me. Very clichéd,  but this was like a “swades-moment” of my life.

I know for a reader like you, this will yet again be another story, heard from someone else-you will empathise with it, may be even agitate a little, but it will not make you think twice before the hot water shower bath! Still, on my end it is attempt to show the reality. And our so-very-efficient government!

You know what was worse? I came home and told about this to a few people, and the reaction I get is – “yeh toh kuch bhi nahi hai, waha toh aisa hai, yahaan toh waisa hai, aur woh toh sabse bura hai!”

Seriously?! Signing off before I can’t stop myself from adding another bad pun!