Mad Max, Funny Road: A World without Water


Mad Max, Funny Road: A World without Water

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Pandya Ma’am was my favourite teacher in school. She always taught me to look at the bright side of everything. Upon the death of my dog she told me, “Look on the bright side Riddhi, you will not need to clean his shit anymore.” Fair point, I thought. I think it’s thanks to Mrs Pandya that I’ve learnt this art of unflinching positivity that makes me almost blind to all the negative shit happening around me.

My friend Divya came to office one morning gasping. “OMG Riddhi, did you see this? Bengaluru is second on the BBC list of cities that will run out of water in the coming years. The natural water bodies are dying and most of them are filled with our shit. The lakes are catching fire. Imagine, there will be severe water cuts and everything. The food prices will go up. We could die thirsty!”

That’s when I decided to give Divya a dose of my optimism. I asked her to calm down, and take a deep breath. “We are only second yo, not first. Look on the bright side, girl. So what if the world will have no drinking water in like 20 to 30 years? There are so many things this water crisis will end up solving!” I sat down with Divya and made a list of the blessings in disguise:

Water will be the new sexy

If you are that girl who never gets the guy, the water crisis is just what you need. Want to impress your crush? No problem, just seductively take a sip from a bottle of water as he watches, à la Katrina Kaif in the Aamsutra ad and all he will want is to quench his thirst too. You will become his Chikni Chameli and together you can romance across parched lands. Sure, it will be a short one but at least you will not die alone.

No more bladder calls

I have always hated that moment when you are all tucked in, reaching the  climax of your favourite show on Netflix, and your bladder gives an emergency signal. Or when you are in a meeting and want to pee badly, and keep shaking your legs. It’s embarrassing! With no drinking water, your bladder will probably be so damn dry, it will not dare mess with your life again (or whatever is left of it anyway).

Goodbye, crybabies

Ever been to a movie and found the person next to you tearing up after every kiss or emo dialogue? I have. Crybabies maybe more human than us but they are also bloody annoying. Farewells, accidents, break ups, they are always ready to weep and drown the world in their misery. But no water, no tears. Isn’t it wonderful? Sure, everyone will probably be very dehydrated and sick, but no one would be crying about it at least. No tears makes for a happy world, the last time I checked.

The iPhone will cost less

Everybody knows somebody who has sold their kidney for an iPhone. But if you’ve not yet been hoodwinked by Tim Cook, hold on to it. Because when the world will have a scarcity of drinking water with Immortan Joe at the helm, Aquafina will replace Apple. iPhones will be cheaper, and you can finally afford one with your meagre income. You will not have many happy moments to capture with your Iphone, but at least before you die you can say, “If it’s not an iPhone, it’s not an iPhone.”

United in filth

You see a homeless guy on street and you recoil. I mean, he could be an artist, a lost traveller, or an undercover detective. This whole obsession with appearing neat and clean – whether it’s with your cars, clothes, kitchens, bodies, is what is making our society classist and dividing us. Some more years into our water crisis, much after the end of the water war, there will be little to fight over. Faith divides, filth unites, they will say. We all will be equals and the world will be one dirty but happy place. It may well be a dystopia, but it will eventually happen.  

The effortless diet

After some more years of Day Zero, when the situation will be dire, no one will have water to grow food or cook anymore. That means no cheese, no chocolates, no lavish brunches, and hell, no stress eating too. Let’s be honest, you always wanted to go on a diet but never had the will. You could do with losing some of that flab and with no water, your fattest biggest problem will cease to exist. Day Zero, everyone will be Size Zero.  

So from where I see it, this whole water situation is no more serious than the plot of the movie Rango. It will rain in between; there will be floods somewhere and droughts somewhere else. It will all balance out. We would’ve left the world to dry up, but we will have great roads and shiny buildings as the mark of our genius when we are gone.

And what’s the worst that could happen? Death? Isn’t that a solution to all our problems really?