Roughly two years ago, I was too lazy to get up and get myself a glass of water whenever I wanted one, I am sorry to admit. I would fill up a couple of huge plastic bottles with water first thing in the morning, right after I made us our morning cups of tea, and would leave the bottles here and there in the house. I would sip from this bottle or that throughout the day, and wonder why the water never refreshed and energised me the way it used to, back at my parents’ house in Ahmedabad.
Then one day, suddenly, it hit me – I was missing drinking water from an earthen pot. That was what we used to do in Ahmedabad – we have never been big fans of refrigerated water, and the high heat in Gujarat would necessitate the meticulous filling up of water in earthen pots throughout the year, most of all in the summer. I haven’t seen many earthen pots in Bangalore, I don’t know why. I was sad when the OH told me his family had never really had water from an earthen pot. I gasped at just how much of plastic dependence we had been fostering, directly or indirectly, by drinking water from plastic bottles all the time and decided to put an end to it. An earthen pot was bought from a roadside potter, and we started joyously drinking from it.
It was a huge pot, though, tough to clean and fill up, especially with a toddler around. We didn’t want to revert to plastic bottles again, however. So, on our recent trip to Madras, when we came across a potter selling an earthen surahis on the streets around Mylapore, we were quick to get our hands on one. Almost three months since we bought home our surahi, neatly packaged in a carton with newspapers stuffed in, I am happy to tell you, we are absolutely in love with it.
The surahi is just the right size to clean and refill, and it ensures that water doesn’t get stale by being left in it for a long, long time. The water from the earthen surahi is gorgeously fresh and revitalises us like nothing else. It carried us through this summer, when the temperatures in Bangalore peaked like never before. Occupying pride of place in our kitchen, it ensures that we do not have to resort to too many refrigerated juices or packaged fizzy drinks. The surahi has made a happy man out of the OH, too. It has reminded us that we are old-timers at heart, though we might have adopted a sort of modern stance to life.
We gave away the big plastic bottles that we owned to whoever wanted them, and the very few we still own are lost somewhere, in the trash, in the kitchen cabinets. We hardly find use for them any more. We invested in a couple of Milton stainless steel flasks, and fill them up with cool water from the surahi whenever we go out – the water stays cool and fresh for quite a few hours and we don’t have to buy packaged drinks wherever we go. We never loved the packaged drinks anyway – we would occasionally buy them out of desperation (because we would be too thirsty!) or for their novelty factor.
When I go for a walk, though, I carry water with me in a little plastic bottle in a little bag strapped over my shoulder, with a few currency notes stuffed in. I well know these bottles aren’t supposed to be reused, but I don’t know of any other way to carry water with me while on a walk. The steel flasks are quite heavy to carry when you walk, and I don’t walk well (a fitness walk in a park, I mean) when I carry anything at all in my hands. So, the little bottle stays till I find a healthier alternative to it.