I am sure every adult goes through a stage, once every few years, of looking around at his/her hometown and sighing, “How my Town has changed!” I guess my grandparents must have (though in their days the differences must have been less pronounced), I know my parents have, and now I do. Sometimes the changes are very welcome, and sometimes not so much.
A few years ago, my Father told me about a senior colleague of his, who did not belong to Kerala but loved it very much, who was asked what he liked best about Trivandrum. He got up, opened the tap, drank some water from his cupped hands and said, “Where else can you drink such pure and tasty water directly from the tap?”
When we were children, we used to drink water from the tap – there was no concern about its ‘purity’, it was the purest one could find on Earth. There were no water cans to hold water in case of a scarcity. In fact there was no such thought as “water scarcity.” When we read about drought in the newspapers, we did not understand what drought meant.
Those days are long gone. Water that was always taken for granted, is a scarce, precious resource. We do not drink directly from the tap any more, we need to filter and purify it first. Late last night, I noticed that there was no water in the direct connection tap (we had to resort to the tank-connection) I asked my Mother if it was because the main water supply line from Aruvikkara was burst a day ago. She said, No, direct water comes only some time late into the night, and stops in the morning. So, all through the day, she uses the water from the tank. The tank is large enough to hold water for an entire day (or more if required). To think that ten years ago, we did not even have a tank. It was built only as normal life became difficult when water stopped coming in the mornings.
There are a lot of good things happening in TVM – developments, progress, technological advances, etc. etc. But some of the little luxuries are disappearing as well. We live with it, we find ways to get around their absence but still somewhere inside we feel, aren’t we losing something precious?
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