It was a chilling November morning.
The alarm rang loud and shrill.
Nina woke up, shut the mouth of the “hated alarm”. She peeped out of her blanket to look at the watch with half open eyes.
“Oh, it’s 6 am!” she said in a low voice.
With Monday blues in heart, she lazily pulled herself out of her cozy little bed.
Nina is a Business Development Manager with a risk management company. It was a Monday and today she had very important client meeting at the client office, far from her home and office. She knew, she had to rush.
She had the bad habit of drinking tea before brushing her teeth. Nina thought it fueled up her energies to get started for the day. She walked up to her kitchen and lazily made a cup of hot steaming Darjeeling tea, mixed with Assam tea leaves. Sitting at the little balcony of her 1BHK flat, she took sips of her energy drink – tea.
She could see the main entrance gate of the housing society she lived in, and also the housing society office. She noticed a strange chaos at the office. Men and women flocked in to meet the Chairman.
“What’s wrong?” she asked herself.
But, soon forgot about the chaos, once she thought about the meeting that was scheduled for the day. She knew, she had to pitch pretty to get the client for her company.
Hurriedly she kept the cup in the kitchen and looked at the watch again. It was 6:40 am. She then realized that Aruna – the maid didn’t turn up at 6:30 am; this meant that she wasn’t coming that day!
The hot cup of tea energized Nina so much, that she ran to the kitchen deciding to clean up the unwashed utensils herself. She turned on the tap. The water was gushing in bursts, intermittently. She got irritated. She left the utensils half washed and rushed to the bathroom.
She had to report at the client office at 8:30 am. Now, she was getting late.
She took her toothbrush and started brushing her teeth vigorously. She was angry with Aruna for not turning up that day and all her anger came pouring on her pearly white teeth!
She turned on the tap to wash her mouth. There was no water!! She tried to move the knob of the tap clockwise and anti-clockwise, hoping to see water gushing out. Alas! Not even a drop trickled out of the tap.
“I will blast the society chairman today. How dare he stop the water supply without prior notice!” she mumbled angrily. She opened the door and ran down the stairs towards the society office.
To her horror, she saw a sea of people – the society residents – yelling at the chairman and the president. The chairman helplessly assured that he would get the water supply restored within a couple of hours. He claimed that even he was not sure why the water supply to the society flats was disrupted!
Nina knew that it was a bad day. She couldn’t go to her clients without brushing her teeth or taking a shower. She came back to her flat.
She decided to go to her best friend Rachna’s house to get fresh for the day. Rachna lived not very far from her house.
She called up Rachna to inform her that she was coming. What Rachna told her, made Nina far more nervous and scared. Rachna said that even her society people were struggling to get a drop of water. In fact, all the neighbouring areas faced the similar crisis. No one knew what was wrong!!
Nina quickly called up her client and postponed her meeting for the afternoon. She took a glass of water from her water jug and washed her mouth.
She sat down on the reclining chair, tired and worried. She took the TV remote and switched on the TV. Flipping through the various channels, she stopped at one news channel. The news reporter, wearing a serious look, reported:
“City goes dry. The entire city has lost its groundwater availability, confirmed government sources. Some areas that still have water are the outskirts of the city, with limited human settlement. Interestingly, the people in those areas are selling water at Rs. 100 per 1 liter bottle! Indeed costlier than Bisleri! The government has declared it an emergency situation. The state government is meeting all District Commissioners to find a temporary solution to it. Scientists are busy exploring the scenario and its threats.”
Nina, jumped up her chair in absolute horror. “This can’t be true!” she said to herself.
Those memories of her childhood flashed across her mind, when she used to stand in front of the bathroom mirror, brushing her teeth, leaving the tap running. She remembered those days, when she took shower for 45 minutes! She remembered the rain dance party that she attended a few days ago!
She knew, what was happening that day, was a result of the thoughtless misuse of the flowing resource- water. She knew, the monstrous crisis was there, but she knew no way to go back in time and undo her thoughtless actions. The damage was done!
Note to readers: This is a pen portrayal of a dream that I had recently. Trust me, I was so much horrified that when I woke up in the morning, I rushed to check if there was water in the tap! I seriously think that this situation might confront us one day, if we continue to waste water this way. So let’s be on a high alert from now on!