HYDERABAD : ‘April is the cruellest month’ not just in Eliotesque way but also because the temperatures are soaring in Hyderabad and elsewhere making one long for glasses of cold water. However, no matter how many sips one takes the thirst doesn’t seem to quench. And that’s when one reminisces grandmothers’ summer tip of drinking water cooled in clay pots that would carry a faint earthen taste taking care of the dry throats.
Now, to save on electricity bills and get maximum benefits of naturally cooled water many denizens in Hyderabad are opting to store water in matkas and surahis. Says Farah Naaz Sahib, 37, mother of two and a teachers’ trainer, “I have been doing it for years. Water that cools in ghadas are good for health. I learnt it from my grandfather, who was a hakim and would tell multiple benefits of the same.” Pots made from clay carry the same properties that soil does i.e., being rich in minerals and other nutrients that are good for human health.
“Since ancient times, people have stored grain and water in containers made of clay which has an alkaline nature and helps maintain the Ph balance in the human body which has acidic properties. That’s how drinking such water helps heal acidity and other gastronomic issues in the body,” says Prabha Vani, nutrition consultant, Sai Health Clinic. She further adds, “Soon, we will have heat waves which will increase the risk of catching a sun stroke.
Other than fruit drinks, drinking water that’s cooled in a clay vessel helps maintain the glucose levels in the body, cools it down and provides essential nutrients that are lost in the body due to dehydration.” The pores in the clay pots make the water evaporate from the surface of the container. The process lets the heat escape and thus cools the water especially during the scorching summer season. A poor man’s fridge, the earthen pots keep bodies and bellies of many cool during the hot months.
That’s how their sale has gone up a bit even though there are fewer people on the roads given the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic is on. Says Ghanshyam, who’s from Siwan, Bihar and sells clay pots at Ameerpet, “People are coming but not in great numbers. At least it’s better than the last year. I’d gone back to my village but came after the situation looked better. Some customers ask for tiny pots for little children.”
— Saima Afreen saima@ newindianexpress.com @Sfreen