Monday, August 13, 2007

The God Of Waters

Water ,One of the divine panchatatvas according to Hindu mythology and one of the major necessities of life. A necessity for photosynthesis and a universal solvent, this sacred liquid is of unexplainable importance to sustenance of every living being on earth. Specially my family and my neighbors .I do not believe in the mythological phenomenon of reincarnation [life after death or rebirth], but if it is true then it is no exaggeration to say that all these people must have been aquatic species in their last life looking at the way they crave for water. And god of death Yama must have said “Vatsa! you have done enough sins in this janma , now you won’t get enough water in the next birth” And he sent them all to my locality.I can imagine all of us chanting “ trahimam trahimam”.
And then Yama must have added with some benevolence “Your sins will be washed off in this janma ,and for that you all will have to chant the name of the god of waters”.
It was only two years back when the nebulous enigma of his statement unveiled to us and we had no choice but to laugh at the satire within. The god of waters he had mentioned was not the rain-god Indra ,it rather was the substituted dummy god of kalyuga, “TankerWala”.

Our small little nest is much like an apartment of 8 families. Eight dehydrated families at that. Hitting ground-water in our locality while digging a bore in dry dust enveloped by a coal tar road has the same odds of success as that of finding a mosquito-less region in the same locality during the rainy season. Talking of seasons, opposite to the general perception, we are happier with the supply of water in summer as compared to the rains. The reason being, the god of waters “TankerWala” goes on vacations in the rains. Opposite to other localities which enrich their water tanks through the divine water- rechargement shloka in the rainy season ,our recharged water probably drains down the slopy land that we are living on, leaving us in sheer disappointment and no option but to cherish the memories of good old wet-summers ;). Others who are not of the locality feel pride in ridiculing us unfortunates, but we give them the reply in the summers with the blessings of our newly found GOD.
Just like Santa rides his cart cheerfully and distributes much aspired presents to children. In the same manner here comes our tankerwala on his divine ratha called tanker, with presents in the form of water. The day he arrives is no less than any Christmas as well.On Christmas people wear new clothes, but the day the tankerwala comes, we wear washed clothes.

The tanker is a phenomenon in itself .It defies all the established definitions of a machine or a vehicle. The thing has thousands of creaking and squeaking components with the horn as the only silent one amongst them, all these loosely held by some hallowed binding force of magnitude assumedly of the order of the nuclear force which binds together repelling protons in the nucleus. Meanwhile, the nucleus of this supernatural phenomenon, known as the engine in the unsophisticated and na├»ve language of lesser mortals, can be initiated by only some godly touch on the keys which can be provided by who else….the god himself. Just like the lord Rama is surrounded by a luminous and radiant aura around him, the TankerWala is also surrounded by an invisible aura which can not be seen in the absence of flies, but can definitely be smelled in his divine vicinity which increases at exponential rate until a time period of about 7 days ,after which this hardworking creature probably finds free time to take a bath himself. If the tankerwala appearing in your locality is a senior pro ,then along with the sweaty odour, you may even be able to inhale some smell of the local daaru better known as khamba . Just like we pray to god and leave some coins in the daan-peti of temples, this god is also bribed by all the devotees so that he does not get angry over them. The only difference is that, mere coins won’t serve the purpose here.

I have been reliving the mythology for the last two years. I have relived the Mahabharata. All by the grace of lord Krishna in the form of tankerwala who is the driver to cart[tanker] with Arjuna on the other seat. Arjuna , whose arrows never missed the target and caused incurable wounds, materialized to me in the form of the the tankerwala’s assistant. Yes he has an assistant too. But this Arjuna of Kalyug does not have arrows ,he has the pipe of the water tank in his hands and the people get wounded by his words .His amazing vocabulary of slangs in hindi [I mean presumably hindi] can not be explained to any degree by allegedly cultured people like me here.In the mahabharta I saw on TV,krishna intiated the battle by blowing his shankha. This mahabharata is initiated by tankerwala not by using the horn but by the creaky sounds[which still somehow sound melodious to us] of the brakes of the just arrived tanker. And then all the soldiers of our locality enter the kurukshetra with weapons in the form of buckets and water tanks. Arjuna, takes out his water pipe and lawfully distributes the water to all the aspirants .if anyone tries to cheat then Arjuna takes out his bhramastra ….his words. In the mean time, the Krishna ,or the driver of the tanker, finds time to light up a beedi or to intake a pouch of vimal gutkha. At the end of this distribution of prasaad-roopi-jal, if there are any confusions in our minds then the tanker- wala gives us the brahmagyaan from his geeta which is his small copy which carries the information about when he will come the next time.

And then all of us enjoy the day by the blessings of this GOD of ours. We celebrate by bathing and washing our vastras and the utensils, not even worrying about storing water for the time to come. Such is the trust we have on this almighty god of waters.