Wednesday, 23 July 2014

And the village borewell dried - July 2014.

Eashwaramma's eye was operated a month ago. And she is having to carry heavy loads of water on her head. The village bore has also run dry, and when the current comes, Chandra's bore is turned on to supply water for the village. Water is running low in this also, but people run there with their pots and stand without shoveing and collect two pots of water at a time. The current comes in spurts and so there is some pushing - and so Balaji took on organizing the people in a row. There is much chatting and jesting that goes on. The line is followed in general. An odd defaulter pushes in, but he or she is shouted at. Sometimes they loudly defend their right to barge in, and the others simply leave it alone and maintain the line.

But its a lot of work running up and down with pots of water. Eashwaramma is not supposed to carry weights on her head so soon after her cataract, but she has to and does. She slipped and fell and hurt her chest so badly, that she had to go to Kallur to the bone setters. Then Kavya started carrying the water home - Eashwaramma even detained her from school one day for this. Kavya carrying a pot far too heavy for her on her head was a depressing sight ... and with such overwork I was only hoping that her health would not get permanantly damaged.

One day Sarojamma was away and someone took away water from her bathroom. She shouted in general about this, and after sometime Doraisamy anna intervened saying that when someones takes away water one should not complain, as giving water is daanam. Munneshwari interjected saying that one cannot steal water carried with such difficulty. But still .. so but that statement from Doraisamy anna again pulled people back to an awareness of a truth larger than the present. When I was away Eashwaramma had taken away much water which I had kept in the bathroom for when I come next. I was mad realizing that the village water had run dry and that she had used my 'store' also, and had shouted at her. At this observation of Doraisamy Anna's I realized that there is a code of behaviour - and i had well transgressed that. 

Rains have failed, and the groundnut that should have been planted in all fields has not. That would have given employment through all the deweeding and other operations. But even those few who took a chance and sowed see their planys wilting with closed eyes. Munneshwari planted 11 guntas. Even her sugarcane has dried up she says. Though she retains her cheerful tone, as is simply her manner, it is obviously the death of hope. She was doing the sugarcane on tenency, and said that though the bore has a little water still, the flow is so less that the ground soaks it up before it can reach the crops, as the ground is so dry. At least if the ground was clayey and not sandy, it would have flowed more ...

Sarojamma had also planted, and is actually invested in deweeding in casea rain falls. The women went for the work with such alacrity. Varalu informed me prodly that she was going for work in the morning and would be out at 6. Eashwaramma also went happily ... labour is always non existant now.

I was talking to Eashwaramma about how the drought and the difficulties was making some close friends of our different - less generous, and smaller minded. i said the difficulties explained it. Eashwaramma was clear - 'No, at all times on one needs to stay generous. Then God will be with us.'. I realized that Dharmam has a clear unconfused stance. One can forgive and empathize with the wrongdoer, but the wrong does not need to be be explained as right.


  1. The questions to ask are 1) why are they using borewells? 2) Why are the borewells running dry?

    The direct answer is unsustainable use of water, surface well or borewell.

    How should the agricultural practices change to living with whatever water is readily available? At least in the rural areas, runoff is limited, so why isn't the borewell being recharged? Are they drawing more water than what is being soaked in?

    1. Yes, overdrawing went on for three decades.