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Water water every where, not a drop to drink

by Paddu Menon
(Bangalore )


Water is the elixir of life say the wise but today the lack of it might lead to the next world war. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find the world fighting for water. It will soon be a case of ‘water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink’ and quench your thirst. With the global warning scare and the icecaps melting and rivers rising and then drying up anything is possible. Specially when the world’s rivers are under threat of pollution .

Rivers are the life givers and sustainers right from Ganga , Jamuna, Sararaswati, Bhagirathi, Godavari, Cauvery, Narmada and Sindhu . They are mentioned in the national anthem and earlier daily prayers in obeisance to mother nature were held in many places. The rivers were held in high regard and esteem.

The mystical origin of rivers read like a fairy tale . How the pride of Ganga was held in Lord Shiva’s matted locks while the rest flowed down in harmony to earth. Sage Agastya’s kamandala held the Kavery and Ganesha in the guise of a cow gently tilted it and lo and behold Kaveri flowed , meandering through Karnataka. Today Tamilnadu and Karnataka are squabbling for her waters.

Rivers are feminine and givers and sustainers, they rise as though out of nowhere and change course or even mysteriously disappear like Saraswati. The Parsis worship Aza Yazad as the goddess of water , a feminine deity who helps in procreation. So it is silly to try and territorise them or bind them but learn how best to use rivers for the benefit of all.

See how the Nile, the Tigris and the Brahmaputra flow their respective courses without political interference. Let the waters be for it is said never play with fire and water. A mere trickle may become a dangerous tsunami .

World wild life has predicted that 10 of the largest rivers in the world are drying or dying including the Nile, the Danube and the Mekong. These rivers are the lifelines of a civilization. If we go back we can see that every great civilization has a river behind it.

We should protect our waters and not destroy it by industrial pollution . Myths, history and culture and rivers go hand in hand. We should revive them and save them from disappearing, because without water life will cease. The blue planet will become an arid desert.


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