BENGALURU: It was a scene straight out of a horror movie. I had a show in a few hours and was ready with my sets and clothes.
Suddenly, Mother Nature called me to inquire about the biryani I’d stuffed myself with.
I decided to unburden myself - only to realise midway that there was no water! As I sat and reconnected with God after decades, I realised that the doomsayers had been right.
I had read about the Chennai water shortage in the news, but it had featured under India’s performance in the World Cup, and a politician’s comment.
And Chennai was far away from where I lived. Surely nothing would happen to me! Water scarcity was a concept I relegated to sci-fi movies and dystopian novels.
When our school teachers warned us about water scarcity in the future, we would smirk. They were just old, grumpy geezers - the earth is 97 per cent water right, how can we run out? We will have to run out of the land before we run out of water. In hindsight, there must be a reason I didn’t study science after leaving high school.
I have already begun to feel the impact of water scarcity. In the building I live in, we wait for a few hours every day for the ‘tanker’ to arrive.
It reminds me of days in my village - when we’d wait for electricity to watch a Doordarshan show on pesticides. Absurdly, it is not drinking water that is in shortage. The water company duly provides plastic cans of water for drinking. But there is no water for bathing and washing.
I feel personally responsible for the water crisis. Yours Truly is guilty of wasting a lot of water. Every year during Holi, I would call my friends into the hostel for an extended indoor version of Holi with buckets and drums.
Even during Diwali, the buckets of water that parents carried for safety would be thrown at each other. I have left taps running while running late to class or office. I have soaked clothes in buckets for days, and then simply transferred them to a bucket of fresh water.
Ironically, for someone who used so much water in his life, very little of the water actually goes into my own body. I recently complained about dizziness and my doctor asked me to track my water consumption - it turns out I drink less than a litre a day!
I urge you to save water. For the sake of the planet, the country and the state - but also for your own self. Allow me to recommend a greater plan here.
There are many ways to save water. For example, I take fewer showers. When people judge me, I let them know it’s for the planet. I wash my clothes less often, and mop my room once a week.
And that is the great thing about saving water. You not only do something good for the planet, you also end up leading a more relaxed life. That was my solution, dear reader, to a burning issue of today.
Now, I shall take a nap and wait for the good folks at the Ramon Magsaysay Award Committee to get in touch!
(The author is a writer and comedian)