Having strayed into the mundane world of business journalism, the misfit gets a high from politics, cinema, theatre and street food, especially in the bylanes of Old Delhi.

Aditi Nigam

Khamosh Paani!

Aditi Nigam New Delhi | Updated on March 09, 2018 Published on May 25, 2013

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Since the past two months our lives have undergone a sea, rather, a water change, if one may say so. We have found a purpose in life – we get up at the crack of dawn and wait for some stirrings of life in our dry tap. And the moment it starts letting out even a feeble sigh, we spring into action …scurrying around with buckets, bottles and cans, trying to fill up as much as we can.

Alas, since the past three days, our tap has stopped its occasional choking. There is now a deafening silence in the early hours of the morning, giving us a depressing sense of loss of purpose!

Drinking water is not a problem if you have the money. It can be bought at every nook and corner of cities now. Though, one does wonder where these companies draw water from to sell and make profits.

By the way, all this is happening in one of South Delhi’s ‘posh’ and ‘happening’ areas – Saket. The area’s claim to fame is the five-star Max Hospital, the Metropolitan Mall, DLF Select City Mall, the newly built Saket Court Complex, where the IPL betting offenders are being questioned, multiplexes etc. But, water and power availability in all these landmarks is never a problem, even in this sweltering heat.

To be fair to these symbols of globalised India, water availability has never been too good in the area. For more than 20 years, we have resigned ourselves and even feel well-settled with one hour of municipal water supply in the morning and about 45 minutes in the evening (when no one is at home). Sadly, the municipal water supply timings still cater to the ‘sarkari’ 9 to 5 working hours, whereas most city people now live in nuclear families and are away from homes for at least 10-12 hours, missing out on the evening supply.

Interestingly, as I poured out my water woes in front my domestic help, she gave me a deeper insight into my current miseries – “This area has been chosen for the pilot project on water privatisation”, she said.

Aah! So that’s the story, I muttered. “Make people feel so desperate that they are willing to pay anything for it!”

Our domestic help, meanwhile, looks empathetic but gleeful, because finally the disappearance of water from our lives has levelled the playing field!

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Published on May 25, 2013
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