Without Water

Are we heading towards the Third World War?

What did I see? An arid land, dry and dusty. The brown predominates the landscape and the lustreless green is hardly there at the fringes. Right in the middle is a bottle, announcing itself as the elixir of life - “water”. Next, I see a giraffe, necking in, as if, to get a hold of the bottle. But immediately, by suggestion, is contested by another animal, an elephant.

What follows is a remarkable replication of the finest move of a game called soccer. As the bottle is flung high in the air, my mind, almost spontaneously, gets ready to relish some more excitement. But oh! The very next instant, I am flustered. Taken aback to see the game turning brutal. The ghastly grip of the giraffe on the trunk of the elephant is gruesome to the point of being monstrous. Wasn’t a giraffe a harmless, peaceful neophyte animal? My school-book knowledge was getting all mixed up and thwarted! A giraffe puts up a fight only to defend or when attacked. Shockingly, here I gathered no testimony to the fact. The intelligent, sophisticated elephant too, here, appears otherwise.

The battle continues as each one is desperate to possess the bottle. It is so very jarring to see how the two amicable animals dart, dodge and dive to prevent the other from acquiring the object of contention. The next visual is even worse. A tangled mess of necks and trunks. Unreal. But having the potency to devastate the real.

Finally, the bottle is on the ground. The neck and the trunk hang above it. None can obtain the container, let alone the content. The coiled muddle makes it impossible for any of the animals to reach the bottle. It rather creates the possibility of one strangling the other to death. An imaginary situation with an unexpected outcome. This is what I would like to believe.

The two lines that you read before the video gets over, however, prompts a different perspective. A jolt. The presentation is genuine. It is about me and exists now. It is imbecility and recklessness to relegate it to the realm of animals. Humans can go farther than that. After all, the thing that is fought over is water.

The presence of the bottle intrigues me as well. How has a bottle, an artificially manufactured object, entered the natural surroundings of the animals? I wonder what could have happened to the waterfalls, streams and rivers? Have they dried up? Or is it a deliberate artificial insertion to tarnish the harmonious coexistence of animal? Do the giraffe or the elephant even know what is there within the bottle? Such knowledge, for sure, is inaccessible. And just like man-made objects, has human hatred too infiltrated their lives to replace their spontaneous instincts? The probe is tormenting and inexhaustible.

The natural resources are fast getting depleted. I can blame myself for the drain. You can too. Soon there’ll be no access to drinking water. A high charge will be slapped against that necessity, which was always readily available and free. Beyond that, even currency will fail to collect it. There will be no water left. I am haunted by Coleridge’s prophecy:

"Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

The next indispensable resource to suffer paucity, I imagine, will be breathable air. It won’t be long when we’ll be yearning for pithy packets of life, in the form of water and air. Bought dearly till it lasts. The far future foresees death. But the near future is far more fatal. A preamble is what we have just witnessed.

Are we looking for retribution or redemption? Let’s get an absolute answer to this question before we find ourselves caught in the cataclysm of the Third World War.

By: Promita Banerjee Nag

This article and the opinions expressed in it are personal opinions. It is not meant for imposing specific views or endorsing a particular way of life. Also please do ignore any errors or omissions that you might come across. We pledge to learn from them. Happy viewing.


Amalish Guha said…
Government is aware of the issue.

Connecting rivers and dams can be the answer.

Concern is well taken.
Sujit Guha said…
Lets respect nature
Quotidian Tales said…
Thank you so much for your response. It’s our mutual concern that can lead us to understand nature and restore its dignity and bounty.
Kanupriya said…
Unreal, but can devastate the real. That hits hard! But sadly, the early awakening comes only to a small number of people and the rest just take things for granted.
Quotidian Tales said…
There lies the challenge....to make every person aware of the problem before it overtakes us...
PB said…
'For whatever we lose (like you or me)... it's always our self we find in the sea'... loved the peaceful neophyte ... keep expressing!

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