Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mother Kaveri

Will you be surprised if I tell you that I have changed my job from metro-chennai, with all its malls, sathyam theatre, mareena beach and ECR to some remote village with cow-dungs and paddy straw near Karur mainly because I’m interested in living on the banks of river Kaveri? (Yes, I joined our Pugalur sugar factory by November ’12) Well, may be I am exaggerating! But the love I have for this river is so deep that, I kinda considered living on its banks as an important factor while making a change decision. Call it an emotional decision, I don’t bother. I’ll share the reasons for this kind of influence this river had on me:

I grew up on the banks of river South Pennar. Whenever I was there in my native and whenever there was water in the river (It’s not a perennial river) during my stay there, I went only to the river to take bath. I can even proudly say that 75% of my 75% (% of water in human body) is contributed by this river. Balance 25% is from Chennai mineral water, that’s another story.

Where South pennar or Dakshina pinakini as it is called elsewhere, is hardly 750 metres wide at our place (if you are really interested, I’d say that I hail from a town called Tirukoilur on the southern bank of South Pennar in Villupuram Dt.), Kaveri is more than a Km wide and appeared gigantic, not simply gigantic but mighty heavy gigantic to my narrow eyes.

Next reason is that, now I have decided to work in Sugar industry, this business solely depends on the one and only plant, sugarcane. Interesting thing is the very juice which oozes out of the cane which our ryots (Pugalur) harvest is nothing but Kaveri water (of course, added with sucrose. But the H2O part of the juice is from Kaveri). Many channels cut out from this river irrigate nearly 5 to 6 districts of Tamil Nadu. I like this connection very much, the connection between business and nature.

Every month when my phone beeps the message tone for the credit in my salary account, I want to thank this river coz just becoz it flows silently without any expectation, things are going smooth (very true that now there is less water, but if this continues for two or more years we would be in real trouble). This one river’s failure to provide water results in announcements of droughts, farmer suicides, relief measures and loss of peace, which means this river, is our lifeline.

To add to the above, any one who has ever read Ponniyin Selvan of Kalki would simply fall in love with this river. (I wish you read it once. Its available as an Android App too). I am no exception. Athens, Rome, London and Thanjavur – such is the list of ancient cities and the last one is becoz of Kaveri. Not just because it is our rice bowl but because once that city was the stronghold of the Great Cholas. Many brave kings, beautiful queens, cute princesses and young princes lived and died in this city. It is this very old Kaveri which still supplies food and water to ordinary people like us.

In all, this river, provided not only food and water to crores of people of TamilNadu but also brought, dissolved in its waters, the elements of culture and religion which it deposited on its banks which are still visible today. It brought dissolved in its water the bravery and beauty to our prince and princesses, it brought music to musicians, thought to philosophers and so on.

Hail to our central artery Kaveri. Had I not chosen to be secular in writing this post, I could have told more.

Last Sunday, I went to Kaveri just to take bath. There was a pathway where I could literally cross half of the river in my bike. There was no sand around that area, thanks to our society’s hungry buildings. It has become plain ground where our cork ball will bounce back to chest level. I sighed heavily coz I couldn’t bear the sight. I heard that Tirupur industrial wastes are drained in Kaveri. Ground water level is becoming low around everywhere. And people make politics with this river water, that’s a public story. No sooner Chetan Bhagat could pick up another ‘Two States’ and cover this hassle.

Slowly, our central artery will become vein, like what has happened in case of Cooum. But before that, I wish you would take a dip atleast once in this mighty flow of colourless elixir. I had this opportunity and felt thankful.

Thanks for reading.