“Meghalayan Age” is a Dire Reminder That We’re Running Out of Water… Again


“Meghalayan Age” is a Dire Reminder That We’re Running Out of Water… Again

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty


he last time I brought up the subject of the global water shortage with a friend, he just pointed to the window, where it was pouring buckets outside, and asked me to go for a swim in the ditchwater. For average Mumbaikars, who see their cars turn into submarines during the annual Biblical deluge, (and Dilliwalas who are still stuck at Mahipalpur Extension) the idea that life as we know it could end due to us running out of water seems like bad science-fiction. Thankfully, real science came to my rescue last week, when the International Commission on Stratigraphy updated their timeline of our planet’s history to declare that, as of 4,200 years ago, we’ve been living in the Meghalayan age.

The news made headlines among communities that care about such minutiae (read: nerds) worldwide, and also became the cause of excitement in India. After all, having the last few thousands of years of the Earth’s history named after an Indian state suits certain agendas very well, seeing as we’re also trying to claim credit for the internet, flying machines, and plastic surgery from the rest of the world. So, yay! Looks like the Meghalayan age is legit and here to stay.