December 27, 2005

Water, water everywhere ..

One can never quite get used to drinking water straight from the kitchen tap, even after years of living in phoren lands where it is the Done Thing. It just seems wrong somehow. Theoretically acceptable but disconcerting in practice, like Meghna Kothari’s snake-dance in Bride and Prejudice.

One appreciates fully that the liquid in those pipes is unlikely to harm an individual who has devoted a large part of his existence to consuming items of questionable edibility at roadside outlets of questionable legality back home. At the same time, one cannot help remembering with a certain nostalgia the ritual of filling the paani-bottles every other morning. An oddly comforting if tedious rite involving family and Filter.

Our Filter, you see, was more than a domestic appliance. He was an institution, an avuncular presence, a member of the family. Much of the credit for the good health of the denizens of the home was given to him, that grand old Guardian of the Waters, Nemesis of Unhygienic Micro-Organisms, Ruthless Exterminator of Potentially Parivaar-Threatening Vermin. Wary NRI cousins would proudly be told to drink their Rasna without fear, for the water in their glasses was surely purer than driven snow. Doctors would be ordered to rule out water-borne diseases before they made their diagnosis, for it was inconceivable that germs could escape the Filter’s watchful eye.

A few years ago the Filter was replaced with a modern water-purifier gizmo. One has always been suspicious of this new intruder. Inflicting “chemical treatment” upon the family jal-supply hardly seems appropriate, given that people are going to drink the stuff. And reverse-osmosis sounds like something either too evil or too explicit to be discussed on a PG-rated blog*. But who can argue with Science?

In any case, one’s fridge here is stocked with a row of old Coke bottles, each filled to the brim with pristine, cloth-filtered water. No telling what strange phoren impurities these pipes might harbour.


* One just decided that this blog shall be PG-rated. One does not think there are any children in the audience, but if you happen to be below thirteen one advises you to fetch your parents so the good folks can warn you how not to turn out.

13 comments :

Anjali said...

*Nods approvingly*

I am delighted to see that One is a true son of the great Desh. One obviously knows that the only water that may be drunk without the blessing of the Filter is that of the Holy Ganga.

No doubt the cloth filter is a pristine white too, so that One has the satisfaction of clearly spotting any pollutants that it might capture from the phoren pipes.

m. said...

awww. how shweet. good doggy - i mean, bloggy! :D
we are glad One has not missed out on the delightful experience of eating at those little roadside dhabas. tis an (immunity building) Experience!

m. said...

a thought - is One tradishunal to the point of fighting grim battles for unadulterated milk only to carefully dilute it first thing in the morning? :D

Brown Magic said...

ahh yes, Eureka with my gentle music playing as it filled bottle after bottle. I choose to employ Brita filter in phoren for similar reasons. This tap water business is very suspicious.

Vasu said...

Hi,
Beautiful blog you have here. Just couldn't stop myself from enjoying the archives! You've got a read... no, I've found another worthy-read!
Hasta pronto!
Hmm... lemme be the first to wish you (in advance) a Happy New Year!

One in a Billion said...

Anjali : Right you are. The cloth filter is very white indeed. It has also been blessed by both the Filter and the Holy Ganga. One thus has nothing to fear.

m. : Absoluminobilutely. One insists that one’s milk be diluted only with water that has been blessed by a Filter (or, alternatively, water that comes from the Holy Ganga). One cannot rely on the doodhwalla to be particular about such things.

BM : Yes, very suspicious it is. But the Brita filter appears to be satisfactory. One hereby declares it Blessed.

And a welcome is in order, since this be thy first comment here!

Vasu : Thanks, and welcome. And a very happy new year to you too!

the Monk said...

For 15 years in trivandrum, I have drunk water only out of the tap...and as far as I know, I haven't had a single water-related disease...yup, that's how clean it is in God's Own Country...

One in a Billion said...

Monk : Impressive. You did, however, miss out on the joy of possessing a Filter. (The coffee-filter doesn't count.)

Deepali said...

Well more than drinking water from the tap [which wasn't very difficult for me to get used to oddly enough] I find it disconcerting when hotels in this part of the world provide water that is safe for drinking from the washroom taps.

Deepali said...

Oh and Happy New year.

Btw I could have sworn the last time I checked your blog, it said you were somewhere up Northern Europe [Scandinavia if I remember correctly]. Travelling around is it?

One in a Billion said...

Happy New Year, Dee. Yes, one seems to be travelling around a bit ..

Camphor said...

Ah, the mystery is solved. Filter. Hmm.

One in a Billion said...

Camphor : Indeed. Glad to have cleared that up.