Over the past few hours I have been receiving phone calls from overly concerned friends and relatives – “Beta sab theek hai na? Koi takleef toh nahi ho rahi na?”. Thankfully, the unbelievable coverage that Uninor offers has been deterring people from calling be when I’m at office. So just to keep people, both concerned and least bothered, updated about the situation here, I have decided to highlight the ground reality in this post.
Myth : There is a nationwide bandh organized by the Opposition parties against the hike in fuel prices. Mumbai is the worst hit.
This morning I woke up to the usual pestering pitter-patter on my window, caught the usual bus to my workplace, got off at the usual bus stop and walked in the usual direction towards my office. No worries.
Yes, there were a couple of people pelting stones at the neighbourhood McDonalds (something that I have always wanted to do). My interest must have been apparent on my face because as I approached the mob, one of the rather animated stone-pelters came towards me, grinning. “Phekna hai?”, he asked me casually offering me a well shaped stone. My initial desire to grab the stone and fling it with all my might was somewhat curbed by the fact that there were no windows left to be broken. I expressed the concern to my new-found stone-pelting friend. He nodded slowly with a very understanding expression. “No more fun here,” he said. “But we are going to break the KFC outlet too. Wanna come?”
I was of course, naturally curious about why the stone-pelting was going on in the first place. I asked the stone-pelter about it. “It is because of the toilets.” came the reply. For a second I thought I had misheard him and begged for his pardon before asking him to reiterate his statement.
“The toilets man. These corporates have such wasteful toilets. The thing is, the mayor of Mumbai went to Singapore to attend a conference on water management and she has identified the two crux causes of the water shortage in the city – Wasteful corporate flushes and Immigrating workers. This bandh is to stop all corporates who are bringing in workers from outside Aamchi Mumbai and also using flushes that are sending our precious water down the drain.”
I stood rooted to my spot for a while. Will there be no toilets at Deloitte too? I asked him, “So you are basically shutting down every toilet in Mumbai?”. “That’s right”
“So where do people go if they want to pee?”
“They can pee in our lakes and add to the water reservoirs. Only in this way can the water bodies be replenished.”
“What if there is no lake nearby?”
“Then they can pee on the ground. You see, already the water table is receding. Measures like this will help restore it.”
I don’t know why I thought I could reason with him when I said “Well, there are better ways to manage water, surely.”. “Think practically man. We need to take matters into our own hands now. Every individual has to act and only then we can think of saving the earth. So, are you coming along to KFC?”
I had no real enimity against KFC so I looked and my watch and explained that I was getting late for work. “Work? You have work today?” came the mildly surprised reply. I nodded somewhat halfheartedly. “Where do you work?”
I thought for a moment and replied, “TCS”.