Sunday, January 06, 2008

Roti, Paani aur Bijli

The water supply was restored on the 4th, after three full days. At first we felt irritated, harassed, angry. Our daily routine went haywire. How much comfort we derived from the same ness, routineness of everyday things ... no reason why... like sweeping and mopping, watering plants, the dishes, the laundry...

It felt surreal to wash the clothes at 6pm when a water tanker would arrive and water would run through our taps if only for a couple of hours.

We had all our taps on...and the slightest trickle, heralding the arrival of the water tank would galvanise A and me (and the other residents I am sure) to action. We stored water wherever possible: In buckets, in my two pressure cookers, assorted pots and fact I was running out of dishes to prepare the meals!

The household helps came several times each day to check and somehow, the water would arrive only after they had left! They must have been laughing at our predicament, a taste of what 'their' life is like. This afterall, this is nothing new to them. My maid J manages to run her home with water that her husband brings from a distant tap.

It also drove home the point how much we took things for wasteful we were. And not just leaving the tap on while brushing. I managed to cook and clean and wash clothes properly but with a limited quantity of water...perhaps, for the first time, the correct amount of water. A bucketful of water was enough for a good bath instead of a luxurious soak in a bath tub. And believe me when I say, it felt just as good as if I had taken a bath in a hot tub with aroma oils and candles lit on the edge, sipping wine!

Even after the water supply was restored, we continued to store and use water judiciously (read not wastefully).

Last evening, when we reached home after our weekly shopping at
Wazirabad Haat, we found the entire building completely dark. That meant no power and no generator either. A was too tired (with the various excuses that the administration would have given us and none of which would make sense and yet all would promise instant resolution of the problem) and so we lugged our veggies upstairs slowly, through the ptich dark.

The power came back for half an hour, enough time for me to grill the kebabs and then it went and returned only at 9 this morning. Which meant I missed "To Kill a Mockingbird" shown on Sony Pix last night at 10pm. (This is the second time I could have seen and yet missed the film...the first time was my choice, unbelievably. We were in the middle east then and I for some unearthly reason...chose to swot for my exams rather than watch the film...perhaps the only time I have done so)!

This morning, we find out that Gurgaon has been plagued with 12 hour power cuts. So perhaps the building admin decided to give the generators a rest and keep it for the all important pumping water to the over head tanks.

Perhaps all this is a boon in disguise...teaching us, preparing us for the day, not so far away when we'd have to ration (if lucky, fight for if not) water, power, fuel and by we, I mean everyone....

Afterall, man does not live by bread alone. Water and Power are very important too....

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