Thursday, 5 March 2009

Precious Water

-''Aagaya! Aagaya! Paani aagaya!!!''
(It's here! It's here! The water's here!!!)

So said the raised voices that I heard, as water came surging through the pipes filling up the empty tank below which stored water for our entire house (I use entire as we are 15 humans, 1 african grey parrot, a number of fish, 2 dogs and a number of love birds and parakeets/budgies - Also, stray cats come and go. Our turtle, hamster and rabbits died. The doves, hens, ducks and qwails were given away when we last moved house). No I dont live in a zoo :P

So I came back from Jeddah, after a week away from home, to a house where the current issue was no water in the pipes because some main line had a leak and the municipality people as a way of fixing it, had temporarily switched the lines off. These lines catered to the requirement of our house. We had enough stored in the lowest tank that could last us with minimal use, for a day. Then the goverment people came and replenished our used up reservoir via a tanker full of water. It lasted another day. And now since yesterday, our house has been ringing with ''Oh no, how will I shower'', ''Oh my God, I really need to take a big dump'', ''Oh Lord how will we do the dishes'', ''Dont use too much water, save what ure washing your hands with to use in the flush'', etc. etc. I'll let you use your imagination thereforth ;)

So after an entire day of filling up buckets and lotas and mugs and bottles and huge pots with water and placing them all around the house for washing purposes of various kinds, I kept thinking of how we have come to take this basic amenity so much for granted. I kept saying Alhumdulillah, for the mug full that I had, and time had taught us to brush our teeth, wash our face and still have half a mug left for the next person, without leaving grime behind us. Why I say, 'time had taught us', is because we have had such water shortage issues often in the last 4 years, on and off and we have started acclimatising ourselves to times when such an emergency arises. Winters are easier to manage, but summers without a day of showering can get rather -eww- when in company of others!!!

So while this minimal bit of water trickles down a basin for my use, I think about the times when people walked distances to fill a bucket or two for their daily use. It made me think about how much easier it is today, when we have water coming through taps and showers, at our leisure. We let so much go to waste. We all do, at one time or another. Can anyone out there imagine what a day without water in your taps would be like in the world of today?

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