I’m a hydrochondriac.
I’ll eat anything, but I’m fussy about what I drink.
I need a sip to prime my throat before delivering a speech, and another after it’s delivered. I take a gulp when I want to wash out the aftertaste of a badly cooked meal, and when I want to avoid brushing after a particularly good one. I’m desperate for a litre after an hour’s hungry walk, as well as when I have to stave off hunger while I walk to my next meal.
Sometimes I even wait till I’m thirsty.
Just-boiled water burns my tongue; fridge-cold water gives me a brain freeze. Warm water on a winter night is like hot brandy in a sore throat, water cooled in a matka during summer afternoons is a cold shower after a marathon. There’s nothing more crushing than to find warm water in the can after a sweltering journey.
Thank God for thermos.
Drinking water ‘from up’ is like eating dessert with a tablespoon; you’re done far too quickly. I like to clamp my lips on the bottle mouth and sl-o-o-o-wly let it slide down my gullet, pausing to fill my mouth till my cheeks puff out, and gurgle it from side to side. I also share glasses. It may be unhygienic, but so are toilet seats and dishwashers, so there!
I’m big on purity. I prefer to know the antecedents of water before drinking it. If it checks out, great, if not, I’ll have my portion of bacteria and intestinal worms some other day, thank you. My water purifier, with RO and UV and TDS and whatnot, doesn’t give them a chance. I’m a water snob really; I was spoilt on water. I had nothing but bottled water when outside till I turned twelve.
I go to a restaurant and swill anything that’s poured for me but eat at a dhaba and ask for Bisleri (Terms like photocopying and mineral water don’t exist in India). We sneer at the mention of the cheaper Rail Neer and spend over twenty bucks on an Aquafina, which ‘tastes better’. This is as far as I have splurged; I have yet to savour Himalayan spring water. And I haven’t been able to figure out how ‘still’ and ‘sparkling’ can be used to describe water in anything other than a lake.
Joey doesn’t share food, and Mrigank doesn’t share water. They say you must never refuse a thirsty person. Well, I’m willing to risk eternal dehydration in the fires of Hell but there’s a good reason why I burden my shoulders with at least a litre in my bag every day. Despite this, I sometimes run out.
What do I do then?
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