“Thanniya Saetthaa thirusangu
Thalli Vittaa un sangu”
The poet Water Vetrivel has critically expressed the importance of conservation of water(Thanniya Saetthaa) in making our place, a paradise(Thirusangu) or a grave (un Sangu).
Let’s move on to Kuppamedukuppam to have a feel of what is called the Wednesday.
Water has become very precious and common over the years in the names of people of this area and not in its true form. Most of them take it as a pride to name their kids with precious items in the like of Vayiramuthu(Diamond Pearl), Rathna Manickam(Gem Gem), Thangaraj( golden King), Thanni Kai Arasu (Water king) and so on.
(02.30 am, January 1st XX06,Chakrapani’s(Wheel water) Residence,F-12, Sunnambu Kalva)
It’s been six long years; people of Kuppamedukuppam have waited to experience this feeling and everyone here hopes that they would get to feel something which has become a rarity in their life.
Alarm Struck once and all the members of the family freshened up in a few minutes using a mug of water and retained half the mug for the next day. The whole house was in a state of rush and was looking as if they were going for a battle. Each one in their family had an item in the shape of an hemisphere with an open cone on top and referred it as a ‘Kodam’. They all hurried to the battleground, the area in front of the unclean Sintex tank. To their surprise, they were greeted with 50 kodams in front of them in the queue and 10 of it were accompanied by their owners who were lying down from the previous night. One among those had even gone to the extent of getting his rope cot to have an undisturbed sleep on the road till the morning. Some had kept their kodam and gone back home to sleep thinking their presence in the form of initials on the kodam was sufficient. Most of the shop owners being the residents of Sunnambu Kalva were among the people in the queue and none open their shops during Wednesdays as water displaces all other motives to the back seat.
People lose respect, dignity and the goodwill they have earned over the weak by fighting for an earlier spot in the queue saying that he was present personally and the others have just kept the kodams and gone to rest. Swearing at each other starts early. Gender bias was completely alien and everyone had the right to hit out at anyone in the area. Some kids even had a training session on how to tackle different age groups and some practiced with their peers. Something which people assure is that they don’t create a parliamentary set up as they maintain some decorum even in nasty dealings.
(The battle goes on till the morning and people have a ride swearing at each other with all words found in the local dictionary.)
6.30am,Battleground Sunnambu Kalva,
People stopped fighting and witnessed something strange on the market road. The motorists paused their ride, auto drivers controlled their urgency, shops on the road shifted back, Pedestrians on the pavement stuck on to the wall as if their life was at stake. None of them on the road had the guarantee for life until he passed them as he has the capability to kill anyone in anyway.
I am not talking about the Share Autos having cycle brakes, nor the Delhi Blue liner which travels on the footpath than on expressways but it’s the metro water lorry which does all atrocities one can and cannot imagine. Metro water Lorries have 694 cases registered in the last decade for killing many motorists, hookers, pedestrians and some people on the pavement too. Nothing has changed and they continue to rule the roads and the people at Kuppamedukuppam. These lorries let out half the tank cleaning the roads and bathing the motorists during their travel and give the remaining to the people of Kuppamedukuppam at double rate. He supplies what the people yearn for, and these poor souls have nothing to lose and all to gain if they salute these drivers, so as to get an extra pot. The people here have justified my title.
Even people who visit Tirupathi get satisfied faster than the people here, as they want more and more of it, not considering the people waiting behind .There was a huge commotion while filling the pots and some of them even tried filling their second pot before others could see. The 192nd person in the queue named Hamsavalli was the unluckiest of the lot as she did not get water. She said with grief that; she taking bath on a new year would be like Kumbha Mela, which happens once in 12 years. The last new year which fell on a Wednesday was 6 years back and she had to wait another 6 years to get a chance to bathe on a new year as Wednesday is the only day of the week they get water.
It was humorous to think about Hamsavalli but there is lot more we need to think about seriously. New Year should be celebrated every year and not once in six years like many other periodic festivals. Bathing can’t be an event to wait for and Hamsavalli is not a person to be duplicated again in the future.
This place Kuppamedukuppam is a part of my imagination and every event mentioned about the place is a myth but the issues and the data about lorries are true. Their atrocities are rising and we people are surrendering ourselves to them. We should conserve water and treat it precious when it’s available so that these Yamas calm their heads. This place would become a reality if we go ahead like selfish ass***es not caring about the life ahead.
I pray that this imagination doesn’t come true.
Save Water and save mankind.