It is a very warm afternoon. Chhutki is
studying . She looks out of the window at the pooted plants in her little
garden. She gets up, fetches a bucket of water, goes outside, and splash water on
the plants. Her mother enters the room, comes to the window and speaks to her.
Mother : Chhutki, if you water the
plants in the evening, they would be able to soak up much more water than in the
daytime when it is warm.
Chhutki : But mother, they look so hot
Mother: Well, do be careful not to waste
water by spilling it all over the ground.
Chhutki : Oh, mother, we have plenty (
she begins to wash her hands ) and then we have the pump ...
Mother : Chhutki, I'm sure you do not
need more than a mug of water to wash your hands, or little more than half bucketful for
the plants. So why use more ... or waste it by spilling it all around ?
Chhutki : But , mother ...
Mother : All I'm trying to say is that
water is precious
than most of us realize.
While we use so much of it , there are people and other creatures who don't even get
enough to drink, let alone bathe or wash things with.
Chhutki : Is that so ?
Mother : Yes it is ! And, if we go using
it the careless way we do, I'm afraid there may not remain enough for others. And,
just imagine, what will they do if it gets over ?
Chhutki : Water ... gets over ? I find
it hard to believe.
Mother : Yes, but it's not too late to
do something about it. Now you finish your work . I'm going down to the bazaar to buy
another bucket for storing water. Make sure you fill up some water for drinking in the
Chhutki : Yes, mother .
( The mother leaves. Chhutki shuts the
door and returns to her books. She spots the morning newspaper nearby, picks it up,
and settles down to read. She then picks up 'Baadshah' from the table and placing it
near her, speaks to it.)
Oh, Baadshah! Can you imagine that ? No water !
It's really quite hard to believe... especially when we
have so much of it... . ( She yawns.) Oh, I'm tired . ( She goes through a
few headlines in the newspaper and is rather startled by them .) Ooh.,
oh! What's this : 'Groundwater wells in the northern part of the city dries up ', Five
seriously hurt in the clash over water ' and 'Villagers can't ... .' This can't be
true. ( She holds Baadshah close to her as she lies among her books and the newspaper
on the bed. ) Oh... Baadshah ... what will happen ? ( She yawns
again.) I'm so sleepy... it was a very busy day at school today. But now I must
keep my eyes open... oh well .... ( She falls asleep and dreams.
( In her dream, Baadshah is standing near her and calling out to her.)
Baadshah : Chhutki , Chhutki, look at me
Chhutki : (Looking up ) Y-yes?
Who ... is it ?
Baadshah : Yes, aren't you going to give
me a glass of water to drink ? It is rather warm day, is it not?
Chhutki : Er... yes! Yes ! (She runs
to get a glass of water . She returns empty-handed.) I don't believe this,
there is not a drop of water left in the house!
Baadshah : But you seem to have watered
all the plants outside and even the pavement...
Chhutki : Er... yes ... wait! I'll get
some from the pump. (She runs to the pump carrying an empty jug. She returns in a few
moments, again with no water.) I don't know what's happening ... There's no water flowing
even in the pump and the neighbours say their pumps are also not working!
Baadshah : Don't panic, Chhutki. I think
we need to go and find out whats's wrong and where.
Chhutki : But the water ... my mother
will be coming ... where are we going?
Baadshah : Don't worry, your mother will
be at the bazaar for sometime. You need to relax for a while and then we can take a propet
look at the problem.
Chhutki : Anything you say, Baadshah, my
Baadshah : Let's go outside ( They move
towards the door ). Shut the door properly, we'll be back in a very short while .