H to O

The family and I have started watching the series of Chanakya again. The series has something so grasping about it that even though we’ve watched it twice completely, we’ve started to watch it from the start again. It’s just incredibly made. So much detail and the history explained in such an elegant and clever manner.

Every time we watch it, something new catches us attention. So here’s this one thing that totally caught my attention. There are a lot of scenes that happen in a small shed sort of a place where one person is sitting with huge pots of water and his only job is to quench the thirst of passersby who stop to get some water.

What’s so exciting about that? Well, it is the fact that he does not charge them a single penny for it. Anyone and I mean quite literally anybody can stop for a drink of water. I found that totally incredible.

Fast forward to 2008 to the summer that has been, I had taken some road trips. The longest one included staying in hotels overnight. It was a major turnoff. The hotels had one liter bottles of water in the room, but each costs about $4.50. Can you imagine paying $4.50 for a bottle of water?

I was totally baffled. For someone like me who carries a bottle filled with water at all times, this was totally ridiculous. How could anyone charge that much money for a bottle of water? Water is a basic human necessity. People need water more than they need food.

All these thoughts also reminded me of the days of Ganesh festivities that are going on in India right now. Whilst I lived in India, on the day of visarjan (when the Ganesh statues are immersed in water) there are huge crowds of people who make the walk to do so. The people of the society would all gather from morning and start filling up big gallons of water and even make lemonade.

By the time it was time for people to start taking the walk to the lake, we would all line up and serve water to people. We never charged a single penny. I cannot imagine charging someone money for water.

It is truly saddening to know that there are so many companies out there who have turned water into a multi-billion dollar business even when there are still so many countries on Earth who are suffering from great water deficit. They have also increased environmental problems when it comes to disposing off used plastic water bottles. That’s not all. There are countries and even states within a country fighting amongst themselves for water.

Water is one of the most vital gifts of nature given to living beings. This also includes birds and animals. I’ve been taught that water must be served to everyone. It does not matter whether you know the person or not. If a person asks for water, he or she should not be turned away. If one does not have water to offer, the least one can do is help someone find it. We all practice this.

The first thing that every Indian family in India or abroad offers to a guest is a glass of water. It matters now whether they drink it or not. It must be offered. We even build little ponds on the porch for the birds and animals to drink from. I know of villages where they have specially built water places with whatever amount of water they have access to, so the weary traveler can drink.

The blessings, the positive vibes that these beings emit after a hearty drink of water cannot be matched.

It’s not exclusively ours in the first place! So the next time you see someone who needs water, do not hesitate. Offer it if you have access, help look for it if you don’t.


It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can. ~Sydney Smith

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One thought on “H to O

  1. That was a nice article with nice point shama.I remember when we go to shrinathji (Nathdwara) there is a place on the way to temple where they serve water all day long without any charge and the large number of visitors get cold water to drink in the hot weather. I remember there were some places in ahmedabad too where people usually old used to sit and serve water to passerby.I think it is a side-effect of globalization and capitalization that we are selling the stuff which should be the basic needs to everybody irrespective of who they are.

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