Dry day

A whole city without water. The prime-time news on CNN-IBN decided to check on how Mumbai’s citizens were coping.

We were shown a shock of curly locks. The guy was really pissed off, maan…he said his hair required careful washing and lots of serum to keep it in place. Yes. This is what they got. Or is this what they wanted to go looking for? They found a little kid who said in her lisping voice, “I dident bruuush my teeth” while another boy moaned that he had not bathed and then he showed us the large ball he was playing with caked with mud. “Even my ball is dirty,” he said.

As a concession to the ‘other side’ the channel’s reporters went to dhobi ghat, a typical touristy hangout, where a washman mouthed a rehearsed script, “Aaj hum kapde nahin dhoyenge, paani nahin hai. Aaj hamari chhutti hai.” (We won’t wash clothes today, there is no water. It is a holiday for us.)

I won’t go into the stories of people who suffer from water shortage every day of their lives. We have heard about it and can do nothing. The so-called improvement that the water department is planning may not benefit them at all.

And here we were filling buckets and every available vessel. Today I look with sadness at all the water that will be thrown away because the taps will be gushing forth again. The water we stored has gathered dust and is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. We cannot keep it for long.

If it were dreadfully cold weather it may have turned to ice, like some hearts do; if it were hot and sultry, the water might hiss like steam and fly away…

Like all things, liquid too, must one day evaporate…

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