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Water, Water … Where, oh where?

india Updated: Oct 25, 2009 01:44 IST
Sylvester da Cunha
Sylvester da Cunha
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

ISRO’s space ship returned with news of water on the moon. So what are we waiting for? Let’s send up manned flights to the Sea of Tranquility and pour it down to us. It’s not like the Man on the Moon will miss it. We need every drop we can beg, borrow or purloin.

A Drought Age is staring us in the face. Zopadpati taps have dried to a drip, tower blocks are in the grip of water tank dadas. India’s states are wrangling over the

Kaveri, Krishna, Tungabhadra, Narbada…“Hey, take your dam out of my river.” “How did you dare sneak 300 million cusecs from my delta last night?” “Only 50 per cent share of this waterfall? Nothing less than 53 per cent plus all the gate money from tourists who flock to admire the rainbows.”

India and China are fingering nuclear triggers over the Brahmaputra; Israel and Jordan loading missiles over the Red Sea; Turkey, Iraq and the Tigris are in a tinder box. Are we on the brink of a World Hydro War?

‘Living Without Water’ is a timely report from the University of Arizona at Tucson, where not a drop of rain has fallen since the Sioux Indians pronounced a curse on the pushy white settler. The Arizona boffins say that we depend on water for drinking, flushing, bathing, laundry and in the kitchen. And they plan to change all that. For a start, they have invented a way for us to quit drinking H2O. “The human body in any case is 80 per cent water.” So, they’ve formulated an oral, dissolvable tablet that recycles our system’s fluid, rendering the glass of water a museum piece. Going further, they propose to banish food by having us chew a gum developed in association with Wrigley Inc, which kills hunger and provides all the nutrients needed to make us supermen and super–duper ladies.

On the matter of laundry, the disposable diaper has inspired them to create ‘Wash ‘n’ Tear’ shirts, trousers, saris, Highland kilts, Andean ponchos, Japanese kimonos, Café de Paris fig leaves — you name it, they’ve got it. Of course this will render dhobis bekaar. But they can soon be re-trained for a sunrise throwaway future. What about our daily baths? “We’re working on it,” they assure us. “In the meantime, why did God create deodorants?”

In sum, a tablet and a chewing gum will empty your kitchen and bathroom/s of their contents, creating space for visiting relatives or PGs.

PS. Ironically, while the world may be moving to a water-free status, I’ve accidentally discovered a way of creating water out of thin air. Happened this way. Just bought a room de-humidifier, advertised to prevent mites and moss from destroying books and paintings. Any effect? Too early to tell, but what’s gob-smacking is that this little machine sucks three 10-litre buckets of crystal-pure water out of Mumbai’s thick atmosphere daily. So, if you need to dilute your whisky, feel free to drop in.

Sylvester da Cunha is one of India’s pioneering admen and chairs the agency that created one of the country’s best-known campaigns — the Amul ads

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