Saturday, September 19, 2015


International Literacy Day
When I was little, one of the teachers asked this question in class, “Which is heavier, one-kilo cotton or one-kilo iron?” For a second everyone thought “Iron” but then we figured out that both weigh 1 kilo, so neither is heavier than the other. In recent years however, I have begun to think that 1-kilo iron is definitely heavier than 1-kilo cotton, figuratively speaking of course.

There is water shortage now. People have been talking about an impending water shortage for the last 30 years, but now it is real. For me, at least!

In pretty much all the areas I have lived for the last 10 years, we either installed filters to soften hard water or had access to soft river water for a few hours during the day. I never complained. My grandfather taught me to conserve water ever since I could understand. I am sure he tried even before I could understand, just the way I try with my own 3-year-old. I repeat every single time that the tap must be kept closed while brushing teeth or lathering up hands and to take a 1-bucket bath. The message will sink in, eventually.

Conserving water when it is still aplenty or at least not scarce can be symbolized as the effort required for carrying 1-kilo cotton. While water is still available for drinking, cooking and washing, don’t you think it is better to take a little pain to conserve it and teach future generations to conserve this life-sustaining resource before scarcity sets in?