Fun-filled, traumatic, joyous, troublesome, boring, cruel, pleasing, satisfying, challenging, tempting, misleading - yes Life is full of 'em - that is why life is so very SPECIAL - and yet the thrill is in "living" life! And all the accompanying ordeals are the frills attached with the thrills.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Water Water everywhere!

Unprecedented rainfall in South India! Flooded rivers, watery roads, slushy houses. Looks like the constrast which life offers is best personified now. Until recently, Tamilnadu was reeling in drought and water scarcity was the order of the day! And today huge (that's huge with a capital 'H') quantity of water is going waste into the sea. Again, how long would this water sustain us from yet another dry period? All this put together makes me wonder if even the drought situation and floods is man-made? Inadequate water management - or probably scant regard to a precious commodity!

Considering Madras alone, the two main water resources - Adyar and Cooum rivers - have become drainage flows. Infact many people would even chuckle if I were to refer Cooum as a river. Once upon a time - certainly until the mid of last century - there was a boat house on banks of Adyar river and the Buckingham canal was used for navigation.

How many of you know that there was a huge lake in the area now compassing Kodambakkam, T.Nagar, West Mambalam, K.K.Nagar? It was called the Long Tank and later as Mylapur Tank (not to be confused with the artificial temple tank beside Kapleeswarar temple). No wonder these areas get inundated during rains today - now you know why!

So all the major water resources are either polluted, encroached upon or ignored. So recharging ground water has come down drastically whereas ground water withdrawal has increased manifold. Rain water harvesting was an expedient scheme. But again how many of us really understood its significance and implemented it in full earnest?

Imagine a clear Adyar or Cooum river with neat parks by the sides, boat clubs, fishing spots, a steamer passing by to ferry passengers in the likes of Kerala! The alternate mode of transport would not only be cheap but eco-friendly too (considering the motor-less boats), apart from the bliss of travelling in a boat! More importantly, two sources of water are intact ensuring water supply for major part of the year!

People never seem to value the importance of water. You are likely to find a fully turned tap open to wash vessels when just half of that 'turning' would have sufficed. Drinking water is used where recycled or probably unpotable water is all that was required like when washing cars, floors, watering plants, shaving/brushing with the tap turned on, showering in full flow for long time, using buckets and buckets of water for washing clothes... the list goes on and on.

Instead of lamenting at the government always, we could do our little best to counter the water scarcity - use buckets/mugs instead of running water thru' hoses, showers, use alternate water (recycled, hard or dirty water) wherever possible, implement rain water harvesting, reduce water wastage.

I have an idea for the government too! The government can probably introduce another water line in houses/industries and other establishments. The pipeline would be in a different colour to differentiate from the regular drinking water line. This line can supply treated (or recycled) sewage water. Ofcourse, it could be made potable too but alteast the public can use this water for 'other' purposes - wash clothes, utensils, floors, cars or water plants. Major beneficiaries would be industrial plants and hotels were large quantities of water is consumed. But will this work?

I read some nice posts on similar lines here and here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Holiday? Say that again!

Had a tiring week at work?
Not to worry, the weekend is not far away.

Want to catch up some sleep?
There's the weekend again!

Bored of everything.? Just want to relax and do nothing?
There's the weekend for that too.

Weekend seems to be the perfect excuse to do nothing. Probably that helps in a way too - to rejuvate one's energy, morale and spirits! But what about those 'mothers' who have no weekends, no holidays and who's only motive seems to be in the interest of others' well being?

Imagine a tiring trip back home. You would only wish if your place of retreat would come to you than having to walk till there! THUD! and you snuggle into your bed taking the previlege of not having to worry about any consequences. But even then, the 'mother', inspite of the fatigue, is all sleeves up in the kitchen just to feed the hungry stomachs.

Then there are the festive seasons. In today's era, the whole family is glued to their televisions or out with friends, except one soul - again the 'mother'! There is breakfast time, tea time, then lunch, evening snack time, dinner and apart from that the special occasions, guest visits, special luncheons, dinners... whew!

How often have we taken this role of a 'mother' for granted? Have we acknowledged the role in gratitude? or even given a thankful thought?

At times I wonder if even falling sick is a blessing in diguise for such 'moms' - a temporary rest to their legs which are in constant motion, a momentary stop to their toiling hands and probably a holiday forced upon them by God but definitely not for their minds. The mind is still pondering - what happens to the home without me? did he have his breakfast? did she have her clothes ironed? was there anything at all to eat in the house?

Yes, that is the 'mother' for you. Probably every one of us have such 'mothers' in our homes but maybe in different forms - a dad, a granny, an aunt, a warden, a care-taker or maybe even a house maid. The world may have changed with mind boggling technological advancements but a holiday for a 'mother'? Not yet - probably would never be! Let's give a thought as to what best we can do to give her, from time to time, a holiday which she truly, worthily deserves!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


My anger knows no bounds when a person barges to into a queue for no big reason. Given any situation, a normal Indian would only want to get to the front at the cost of others. There is no distinction here - you could expect this kind of insane behaviour from any person - well off/poor, educated/illiterate, man/woman - there is no bias here.

In India, for the kind of population we have, things would only be better if people were more disciplined. By discipline I mean exhibiting the same while waiting in a traffic signal, waiting to get a ticket, waiting to get into/out of a cinema hall, waiting to pay a bill, waiting for your turn in a hotel, waiting to get into a crowded bus, waiting to get darshan in a temple and waiting to get a freebie somewhere. Why can't people just stick to a queue when things are no better when you try to go out of turn!

Next time you see a person cutting a queue - stop him/her! Its only because of our apathy, such lot take the situation for granted.