Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The leak in the reservoir !

An Abstract Acrylic on Canvas Painting from Value Art
Once upon a time, there was a village full of happy, contented yet ever progressive villagers. The village was self sufficient in all aspects and even exported many of the niceties it had built, to other neighboring villages and societies. It was one of those ‘darling’ villages that one dreams of being a part of.

Then one day, many a thousand miles away, a region was struck by a devastating earthquake. The loss was gigantic and it took several years to rebuild everything. Our ‘darling’ village, being many a thousand miles away, wasn’t affected and remained a happy region, in this duration of destruction to reconstruction.

After a few months everything seemed nice and beautiful, except that the river that used to flow near the village seemed to have a surprisingly diminished flow of water. The villagers thought that it was just probably, the lack of rain upstream, and the expected monsoon would soon resolve this temporary scratch on a beautiful painting that was their village. Alas, the monsoon came and went away. The water did rise a bit in its level first, but soon depleted to bottoms, the villagers had never seen before. Soon children from the village could literally walk joyously on the river bed, oblivious to the concern writ on the foreheads of elder villagers. It just did not make sense. Was it that distant earthquake?

The villager’s got together and decided that immediate action was required and they all concluded that an artificial water reservoir, sufficient to fulfill the needs of another four to five generations of the future, was required to be built on a war footing. So it was built in three months time – and filled slowly with water flowing slowly from the receding river. It took some months – but the village now had a water reservoir of its own and villagers basking in their latest conquest over nature.

Over a period of time, the villagers started noticing that although the reservoir had sufficient water, the flow of water within the village was not sufficiently strong enough and it took a long time to fill up their buckets and fields with water. Following another discussion, it was decided that the height of the reservoir needed to be raised. And so it was in the next couple of months. Now the force seemed to be better – just sufficient to stop the grumble, but not enough to light up their faces with joy – something that they all were used to when their river was full of flowing glowing water.

Following another discussion, the reservoir height was now raised to significantly higher levels, thus forcefully supplying water to the villagers, but requiring them to install an array of ‘pumps’ driven by solar electricity.

Within a decade, our village prospered magnificently and added many times over to the population of joyous faces that resided in our village. All was well except that the villagers residing further down from the reservoir started to again experience a frustratingly reduced pressure in their water supply. In the discussion that followed, there did not seem to be a solution, except to build another similar reservoir further down from the existing one. This however did not find a unanimous acceptance and many amongst the villagers suggested that it was just a matter of tolerating a little bit of discomfort by a few. Those further away, seemed to think that they were genuinely affected and pretty unhappy that those living closer to the reservoir did not care ‘enough’.

One fine morning, a group of little children walking down to their school, noticed that there seemed to be water leaking from the reservoir. The villagers close to the reservoir got to know soon enough and were shocked to see the amount and extent of leak. On close investigation, no one seemed to have a clue on how such a thing could occur overnight. The needle of suspicion soon started pointing to the villagers located further down from the reservoir. After all, it was certainly feasible that they would have wanted the villagers located closer to the reservoir to also ‘suffer’ the same ordeal that they had started experiencing. Soon enough, the villagers and the village stood divided, miserably facing each other from opposite sides of the reservoir. A divergent perspective that none of them had imagined before. In the weeks that followed, suspicion smoothly transitioned itself into bitter arguments, angry altercations, hatred and outright battle. Eventually our beautiful ‘darling’ village drowned under the weight of the water that emptied itself onto it, from a self destroyed reservoir. The ‘bliss’ build to last for many more generations, did not survive even one.

Soon the frustrations of daily living resulted in migrations that eventually left the village barren and devoid of its beautiful history and geography. The folklore now talks about how it was only years later that an old dying man, who had refused to leave the ‘darling’ village, discovered the real cause of the leak in the reservoir. Unfortunately, he died from the shock of the discovery, never to reveal the truth to anyone.

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