Friday, August 29, 2008


The recent water crisis at home had him by the horns. Early mornings became the norm as the water supply ceased at 9 AM and resumed only at 4:30 PM. To add to the water woes, he had many guests dropping in over the next few weeks when water was scarce. He was in bad shape, arranging for alternate sources of water, filling up buckets, washing machine, utensils & any container that could hold water. The extra trouble made him miserable( come as it did during his recovery days) until he thought beyond his selfish orb and was reminded of those who are victims of so much more suffering because people like him waste so much water and crib when there isn’t any left. There are thirsty millions out there for whom using water for daily ablutions & washing clothes is a liability. There are those, who walk miles, unmindful of the mortifying heat to procure potable water. The thought of those millions shake and shame him, and he knows, if there is to be water for everyone, then one must save.


He has started saving water. It’s a miniscule contribution in a country of billions, but he muses, if he can save even a glass of water everyday, imagine what it can do if like minded people across the country save a glass each  …. So much water saved- So many lives improved


So when will you start saving? Does it require you to join an organization? Or does someone need to tell you more about the ill-effects of water-shortage? No, not at all. Whoever you are, you can help save. All it requires is will, and a little time out of your busy lives. Stop wasting water when you’re brushing your teeth or taking a bath – don’t let the elixir of life run unnecessarily from the taps when not in use. Check for leaks, and fix them. Make sure all water outlets are tightly shut. Don’t use more than necessary. Every drop makes an ocean. Here is our opportunity to make a difference.




On a lighter note, a saying goes thus:


“Save water. Bathe with your neighbour’s daughter”


Statutory warning : Do NOT try the abovementioned at home. It is only meant to add an element of humor and the author does not advocate this and guarantees broken bones to the defector. You can’t be expected to save water with a crippled body :)


Monday, August 04, 2008


Some drink to enjoy the freedom from the monotonous drone of everyday life while some drink to socialize with strangers, peers & superiors. Some drink to shed their inhibitions while some drink for health, since studies prove that an occasional drink might not be bad at all. And some drink … to forget

Alcohol does take one to a world free of daily worries and unleashes human emotions in exaggerated measures. While happiness is contagious and always welcome, it is shadows of anger & depression that lurk menacingly in the dark corners of the mind and are granted fiendish proportions by alcohol. Having lived in the City of Pubs, Bangalore for many years, he has had a lot of high-spirited acquaintances in whom he has observed the ‘after-effects’, so to say. More often than not, they’ve gone on the much-vaunted “happy-high”, where troubles are dispensed of and friends & loved ones and having fun is all that matters. The alcohol has made them do hilarious, fun, often silly & crazy things. Things one can be proud of or embarrassed by later. Things one can reminisce with a group of friends, and laugh about. Things that good memories are made of…

Anger… an effect of alcohol which he’s very familiar with, and detests the most. Vain seniors, egoistic friends & anti-social elements have been models of display often enough. If alcohol can give the joy to fly sky-high, it can also break the shackles of deep-seated unrest, envy, hatred or mean streak. It can give one a sense of absolute power, and of absolute scorn for consequences. It loosens the tongue, hands & feet, as well as morals. The outbreak of anger under the spell of alcohol spells havoc for those unfortunate enough to be around

But probably the most self-destructive effect of alcohol is the underlying depression it can reveal. Several films have been made on the eternal loser, the jilted lover, the social outcast, who drinks to forget. The Spirits might rid one of their woes temporarily, but once they wear off, the state of senselessness & the mask of attempted joy fade as well. If alcohol can take one away to a private heaven, it can also drag them down to a private hell, a hell of their own making. The respite from memories is but temporary. Memories always return, like an out-of-control boomerang.

He knows someone (let’s call him Sam) who started drinking to forget his personal & professional woes. Instead, it dragged Sam into an abyss he is not strong enough to return from. It made his miseries indelible, and now alcohol is his mistress, to shed his tears with.
He has always wondered … does alcohol REALLY help forget? Is the Spirit potent enough to actually lift spirits? There are countless such Sams out there, battling the spirits and battling their inner demons, a war they’re most likely to lose. He sees them wasting away and ponders. There definitely are much better ways to forget the troubles coiled within, snake like, which won’t let one breathe.

When life becomes rough and everyone & everything seems stacked against you, try a friend you trust. It gives a different high and a definite relief. You’ll never want Spirits again. Here’s to all those people who are high…. high on life, love and friendship. Cheers!

“If friendship is your weakest point, then you are the strongest person in the world”
Abraham Lincoln

A sense of great adventure prevails prowling the roads of Mumbai at nightfall. They say life lies in the details, and observation nurtures your mind. The streets of Mumbai provide ample nourishment for an open, curious mind. Think that sleeping under the sky with only the blanket of stars for company is a great idea? Think again. Against the imposing, sometimes suffocating backdrop of huge multistoried buildings & rhythmic clatter of railway tracks under constantly rushing metal monsters, lie people on pavements under the open sky, with nothing more than a thin sheet of newspaper as their barrier against nature and the clawing, dream-breaking prods of mosquitoes, children, animals and the Policeman’s stick. Yet they do not hesitate to share their meager blanket of paper & miniscule bed with those who have neither. A beedi is half dangling from the mouth of an asleep, old man, who’s provided shelter tonight to a weak, cold stray. The calm on his face starts reflecting in mine. The waves are crashing against the fortified stone walls, and somewhere inside, a child is rejoicing.