Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Schadenfreude and water

I'm considering becoming a lawn ornament. That way I can have a regular bath!

Someone wants to make a point and it's being made right now. Crisis has come very close on the heels of the warning. I'm amazed we have a warning system, not so much that it isn't an early warning one.

IISc has next to no water in the hostels, messes and the departments. They asked us to use fewer utensils this morning cause they didn't have any water to wash them with. Soon it will all be finger food. They were shouting at a kid for using drinking water to wash up, there was no water on the tap. We haven't had water in the hostel for two days, none in the lab now for one. Several depts haven't had any for days. IISc is considering (considering!) buying water I am told.

We've had four years of drought in Bangalore in my time here, between roughly 2001 and 2005 there were next to no rains. I lost the local population of my study animals to this drought, ask me I know. In those four years, there were maybe 10-15 days altogether that there was no water in my hostel, never a cut in the lab.

It just amazes me that theres a problem this year after its rained well two years in a row (Admittedly not in B'lore but elsewhere certainly and most of our water come from other catchments, I think, notably Kaveri which is kinda full right now). The problem is apparently at the 'corporation' level. So if they aren't sending us water right now, its either judicious preservation (yeah right!) or political need creation.

Whatever it is, it is fun, everyones already sprouting water bottles, hoarding. People are beginning look irritated, marginally dirtier and suddenly everyones interested in water. A few people are even giving the lawn waterers dirty looks. Maybe eventually someone will think of the very clever idea of hooking those perennially on lawn hoses (which get water from where? a borewell?) into underground sumps that go the rest of the institute and maybe it will tide us over a few days. If all else fails, see you on the lawns.

P.S. The block on blogspot and typepad seems to be here to stay. The guys at SERC never actually got back to me, which I suspect is code for 'Yes, it's blocked, whatcha gonna do about it?' Maybe I laughed too soon at my mates in NCBS and their incompatibility with Yahoo!


Rahul said...

The last time I used the internet at IISc (I think it was more than a year ago) I'm pretty sure the general net access was provided by ECE; SERC ran a separate proxy that, during the day, was available only on faculty machines. Has that changed?

One option is to go for your mobile phone's GPRS -- you can actually dial-up from your computer, on Airtel it costs Rs 20 a day or Rs 375 a month for unlimited use, the speed is roughly dial-up speed which is much better than what one used to get at IISc... it's what I do now when travelling.

Natasha said...

Yes, both proxies are now run by SERC. They have set up a helpdesk that your write to, which I wrote to. And speeds are much faster now than they were before.

I'm a pensioner Rahul!!! Besides, it doesn't matter very much, I just use an anonymous proxy site to bypass the block. It's just that it's a little sad this kind of censoriousness. I'm not even sure what end it's serving.

Rahul said...

Good to know the speeds are improved, sad to know they're blocking blogs and nobody is protesting. There are a lot of very useful blogs around.

As for the water situation -- it's ironic, Chennai is the city known for water problems, but for that very reason every building has a sump and a motor, you just need to keep your overhead tank filled, and I've never had a tap go dry (and, at home, have never even needed to buy water from a tanker). The groundwater situation is good too -- they say the rainwater harvesting and the last two monsoons have helped. Meanwhile, Bangalore seems to go from bad to worse.

Natasha said...

About the water, maybe it needs to get bad before it gets better. I can't think of anything short of a crisis forcing people to be careful and that memory is short-lived!


Abi said...

The proxy problem has been sorted out. When I was trying to find out -- discreetly, through a friend -- about whether the blogspot block was intentional, I got the most perceptive answer: "Don't attribute to superior intelligence and judgement what may very well be sheer incompetence".

It turns out my friend was right ...

Now, if only the water problem was easy to sort out as that of our proxy servers ... ;-)

Natasha said...