Friday, July 16, 2010

41. Know it by any other name

No sooner had I made my selection from a severely restricted veg menu, the waiter at the restaurant in Kensington, London surprised me by quizzing: `still' or `sparkle'? Back home, it now translates into `tap' or `bottled'. Unless one is in a glitzy hotel where a much expensive water menu is on offer, seeking customer's preference for water has become an accepted norm across all kinds of street restaurants and roadside dhabas. And, no one seems to be complaining!

Market economy that thrives on rapid turnover of product diversity have had its impact on consumers' choice for `water' too. Asking `drinking water' is passé, as branded variants of packaged water with varied degrees of quality assurance have filled supermarket shelves. From ordinary to premium and from aerated to flavoured, drinking water has built its own range of products wherein brand draws more value than its contents.

Like ambidextrous master archer Arjuna (pic), who was known by several names, water too has attained an equally evolving nomenclature viz., drinking water, bottled water, aerated water, river water, irrigation water, flood water, polluted water, grey water, brown water, green water, sea water, revenue water and transboundary water. Does each variant not create a distinct liquid relation based on its (water) fast-changing biological and physical attributes?

The elixir of life is facing a crises of `identity', though. Each new name only degenerates its cosmic existence, hinting at the severity of the impending crises.`Blue' has long ceased to be its true colour (though it survives on screensavers)! Instead, it picks on new attributes as it flows. The latest and perhaps the most disturbing name it has acquired in development parlance is sick water, pointing towards a dreadful future!

14 comments:

Kuldeep said...

In our childhood, we used to hear a song "Pani re pani tera rang kaisa, jis mein mila do uss rang jaisa". Seeing the changing colours and names of Pani (water), we need to devise a new song for it.

Putting a price to a bottle or bucket of water was considered a lowly act till a couple of decades ago. Not any more. Quality and quantity of water now depend on the depth of pocket of the buyer.

Seeing the commodification of water, the day is not far when friends will meet over a glass of water in their favourite 'water shops'. No wonder, we might soon be presented a detailed menu of types of water on offer. Let's think some fancy French and Spanish names ...

玉苓玉苓 said...

人生的「三部曲」應該是無愧的昨天,充實的今天,與充滿希望的明天。..................................................

Vijay Rai said...

Water water everywhere, and not a drop to drink without money!

Shubham said...

If the Mahabharat was to be enacted again, Arjun before shooting an arrow in the soil to create a fountain for a dying Bhishm would have asked him if he preferred aqua naturale or frizzante...

吳婷婷 said...

快樂,是享受工作過程的結果............................................................

青卉 said...

到處盡心,即為快事;舉步踏實,便是坦途。.......................................................

林彥以林彥以 said...

文章優,圖片美,就連回文都很有意思~~~............................................................

玉苓玉苓 said...

多謝美味的心靈雞湯................................................................

RicoLisi0802志竹 said...

Knowledge is power................................................

嘉王偉 said...

Judge not of men and things at first sight................................................

華汪昕 said...

所有的資產,在不被諒解時,都成了負債.................................................................

家唐銘 said...

河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。..................................................

沈貞李添睿儀 said...

Readiness is all.............................................................

靜詹怡詹詹 said...

人類的聰明,並非以經驗為依歸,而是以接受經驗的行程為依歸。..................................................