Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Friday, January 1, 2016

Water, Water Everywhere...a Resolution

I have never taken a new year resolution. Why, I never even took a resolution. I just took decisions influenced by my surroundings and inspired by people. It is time I have my influence on my surroundings and maybe inspire people. A new year resolution might be a nice one to do that. A resolution, not regarding my character, attitude or habits, but about what and how I can do to change something for good this year.

Mahati is not used to going to the fast food restaurants for dinner. For her, like many other Indians, the occasional dinner outside was in a Udipi or a North Indian restaurant, where she would order Chinese noodles. The waiter asks if she wants mineral water or regular for which her reply would be regular water, which is served for free along with the dinner. However, she one day went to a fast food restaurant to eat chopped vegetables stacked between two bread pieces for an amount at which she could go to Mumbai, buy those vegetables and return. Used to drinking 'regular' water during dinner, she asked for it. She got a reply that she has to buy bottled water only. She asked for just tap water, not even the fancy RO-UV protected and filtered water. The restaurant which boasts of baking their own bread apparently did not have a tap in their kitchen! The regulatory authorities should take a look into this matter: A restaurant's kitchen not having a water tap.

Not a drop to drink!
Not only there, an ice cream shop which has items ranging from pasta to pista ice cream on its menu had only one glass to serve water in. A bakery which had seating arrangements could not afford to have a water dispenser. A pizza shop which earlier had a water filter removed it. In fact, the same shop provided a Pepsi  for free with the pizza but could not give a glass of water. Poor workers. They get water from their home. Well, a waiter in a restaurant gets his own water bottle from home! What's happening to the country?

Is this all to facilitate the sale of packaged drinking water. Water that is filled from the same kitchen tap and sealed, added with some salts which the person about to devour a 2000 calorie burger does not require?? Of course, the sale of bottled water will rise. Not every one can remain adamant like Mahati and not buy bottled water. People are made to buy them . The surroundings are arranged accordingly. The advertisements are created to scare people into buying tap water filled and stored in plastic!

I am not sure if there is a law in India that mandates all eateries to provide free pure drinking water. If there is, it is not working. But I am sure there is enough water to satisfy the needs of the people. We are just unable to use it properly and are wasting it. This is my resolution. I will join those who seek 'Free Basics.' The basic elements of air and water to remain free at least (purity has gone down the drain long ago). I will spend money for those added salts if I want to. But otherwise, I want water for free. Maybe Zuckerberg will join and support Free basics too.

Another day, Mahati went to a stationary shop to buy color pencils. She felt thirsty. The boy in the shop gave her a glass of water from a pot he kept in the shop!