As I looked on, the Brahmaputra showed me the full stretch of his expanse, and I was humbled. Were you a sea masquerading as a mere river? Were you THE mighty river spoken of only in myths and folklore? I could see in my mind’s eye the huts on stilts at a distance, and it looked like seafarers lived in them, not everyday village folks with regular real estate decisions. Then, again, when I saw the Zanskar and his emerald green waters from the mountains, I was stupefied. Not only were you called Zanskar, but you were of the bewitching Indus, creating curves of beauty imprinted on Ladakh’s unique landscapes. Such beauty in all your avatars, oh water.
But, this is not about that.
This is about the dance we do.
Eight what? What of Eight? What did you say?
I have been told by the ancient wise that drinking water can solve such a range of human challenges, it is not jocularity. Emotional upheaval? Here’s some water. Mad at the wi-fi, take a water break. Big presentation, take a sippa da water. Made a statement, sip that water for swag. Everything – from our epidermis to the follicle, from the nail to the liver, from the kidney to the knuckles loves water apparently. Even though we are 70% water, we still cannot get enough. And that brings me to ze rule. Of Eight. It started with eight glasses (the most widely split measurement in the whole Milky Way, I mean, what is a glass??), 2.5 litres, or eight cups or eight 1-ounce glasses was it?
I have heard everything. That does not mean I have done diddly squat. I can barely get through a measly bottle a day. And like every aspiring swimmer there is, I have bought gear. Oh, have I got gear. Ceramic, enamel, non-toxic stainless steel with trippy caps and key rings, and a little hook for the ladies’ purses. All of the jazz. None of the water.
Shakes and Bladders
The truth is what lurks within. Literally. The bladder. I feel mine is a major anatomical anomaly, with some cross-wiring in its internal modems and fluctuating capacities. Out of nowhere, it becomes code red. When you least expect it. And when you have to. Like in a public bathroom, or in the middle of an uphill trek with only barbs and wilderness around. Or when you are wearing a jumpsuit (note to the department of abominable apparel creations). Or when you are with your six-month old on an airline, while on descent.
When I walked the Oxfam trek, they handed us a “stand and pee” contraption, because everyone knows women in India have it tough (I mean, specifically, the state of pee places; no giant sociological opinion, nope). The idea is that you can pee anywhere you want into a little cardboard tent. It is as important an invention to India’s state of toilet-readiness as iPod was to the smart devices outbreak. So, a moment of silence for these guys.
And a big BOO to whatever it is in the universe that makes people mess up public toilets the way they do. It’s like someone’s bucket list to clog every drain there is, and leave a pebble trail. Which, unlike what happens in Hansel and Gretel, IS NOT made of bread crumbs. Less said, (also less seen, less inhaled) the better.
In the process, I got initiated into core and glutes strengthening even before I knew what these were. Hanging and squatting over the toilet seat or holding my daughter up in a handhold worthy of being recognized as a ballet move. All this, while maintaining zero contact with ANYTHING. Stronger arms, biceps, triceps, glutes and finer motor co-ordination. Full points for that. Terrible score for my bladder, which clearly missed the evolutionary train.
Full of it.