Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reflections on a Water Bottle

I look back on life — it's
funny how things turn out.
You, the creator of beeping
sirens and honking cars, yearn
for the solitude of the
mountains. You, a connoisseur
of fast food, now gaze at water
that took years to gather
natural minerals as it trickled
down from the Himalayas to
within your reach. And I, some
of the purest water in the
world, stand here, trapped in a
bottle. Come, enjoy the irony.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

From Ground to Brick to Dust

When this house was being built in 1992, one of the labourers was gored by a cow. Rajamba had been treating it herself with country herbs, but it was to no use, for when she brought the place to me for inspection, pus was oozing out. The wound was very deep and far beyond anything I could do, so I sent her packing off to a good hospital in town, and within days it was well on the way to getting better.

Even when wounded, Rajamba didn't stop work of one kind or another, not even for one day. She'd been labouring for this house, carrying bricks, cement and buckets of water. After her accident, she took a few days off from here and resorted to some field work, helping to bring in the paddy harvest; but not long after that, swathed in bandages oozing blood and acriflavine, she reported in one morning and was soon carrying pans of cement for the stonemasons again.

No record was ever made of her birth, and none will be made of her passing: Out of nothing she appeared, moved and had her being. And now she has returned to nothing. Less than a week after passing from us, she's already becoming a dim memory. Once the heat comes she'll be forgotten, without trace memory or any record that she ever existed.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Use Our Toilet & We'll Pay You

I'm grateful to Tim Mars for sending me the following snippet: B-)

"A toilet that pays its users has been opened in Musiri, Tamil Nadu, India.

"It is the first of its kind.

"The public toilet, in the town of Musiri in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, gives users as much as 12 U.S. cents a month for their excreta. Fæces are composted and urine, which is 95 percent water and has already passed through the body’s own filter, the kidneys, is collected, stored in drums and used as fertilizer for bananas and other food crops in a two-year research project by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

"‘The day that I can use your toilet and you pay me instead of me paying you, that will be the day when we have really learned to reuse our waste,‘ says Santha Sheela Nair, India’s secretary of drinking water supply."

Here's the Full Story