“Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”
Albert Szent-Gyorgi – discoverer of Vitamin C.
In the grand scheme of things, us Parsis are blessed. It is imperative that wherever we have installed an Atash Behram or Adarian, we have the presence of Ava Ard-vi-sur Banu. Hence, all our Fire Temples have at least one well attached to it, and some even more! Well water is an integral part of our Fire Temples and it is used extensively to purify the area around the fire and the vessels used for the higher liturgical prayers. We are so privileged that even our Sanatoriums have wells in their premises. The one in Khandala has an entire lake!
A few years back I had visited our Agiary in Panchghani during the monsoon. The well in that Agiary is almost as deep as the mountain on which it stands. It is mind boggling to imagine the kind of spade work that must have gone into constructing that well. It was mid-June and the rain on the mountains was just a few days old. However, the catchment must have caught the seepage into the ground water from which this well sprung. I was witness to the overflowing of that well. The water flowed over the well and onto the road, across to the other side and then again down the mountain. Joy flowed from me like a river, at the sight that I was so blessed to witness. Today, even in peak monsoon, the well no longer overflows.
We are consuming too much of a resource which is so scarce. We have to make a concerted effort to acknowledge and work towards conserving this most precious resource. Just like charity, conservation begins at home. Fix that leaky tap, don’t throw away stored water because it is “old”, take a bucket bath, your car need not be given a bath every day, a simple wipe down will do, fill your washing machine up to capacity and avoid half loads, make sure that every drop counts – cause it does! The Mumbai Agiaries have suffered the worst brunt of environmental degradation at human hands. Our wells have all been contaminated by gutters. May we find a solution to this terrible problem, soon.
Let us pray the Avan Ard-vi-sur ni Nyaish to give us direction and guidance to find a suitable solution to a looming problem.
“All the water that will ever be, is, right now.” – National Geographic