Baked Earth – A poem on the need for Water conservation

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Baked Earth

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The earth cracks

with blistering heat,

rivers dry, crops wilt;

if water is consumed

without a thought,

we all shall bear the brunt of drought –

Life is water, water is life

Conserve water before shortage is rife.


© Somali K Chakrabarti

As the mercury rises, taps and wells around the world are running dry.  Due to the lack of rains coupled with ElNino effect and mismanagement of water,  five continents are facing acute water crisis and drought conditions. The severe drought that has gripped several states in India including Maharashtra,  Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha , Telangana , Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh , Jharkhand and Rajasthan  has resulted in several  cases where farmers, laden with debt have committed suicide and children are bearing the brunt.

According to TERI Energy Data Directory & Yearbook,  India, with 4% of the world’s total utilizable freshwater resources. houses around 16.8% of the world’s population.  In the book ‘Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis’, Brahma Chellany , strategist and author on geopolitical trends points out that Water will be the key to war and peace in the coming years as the scarcity of water, taken to the extreme may lead to conflict among nations.

Proper management of water and water conservation is a key issue that can no longer be ignored.

While the Government of India is talking about interlinking rivers to transfer water to drought-prone areas , its feasibility and repercussions in the long term are being questioned by the environmentalists.



Lei: A wreath for your soul  is a string of short poems reflecting on nature, life, illusion and inspiration.Lei




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49 thoughts on “Baked Earth – A poem on the need for Water conservation

  1. Yet it doesn’t seep into minds. In our colony, Holi was celebrated inspite of pleas and orders, at the behest of a selct few who insisted their children should enjoy childhood. Problem is, who will educate the adults?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Children can enjoy childhood with dry colours as well.. In a debate on TV, you should have seen how people argued against the petition which appealed for not having the IPL match in Mumbai, which required tonnes of water to be supplied to the stadium..What about Kumbh mela in Nashik? Water is diverted there too so that people can dip in it. .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, was shocked to see Gavaskar and Dravid bat pro-IPL and anti drought!
        For a change, I’d like to see religious leaders come together to declare that wasting a precious commodity can never lead to piety and purity.
        Can u ever foresee such a scenario? Next birth maybe.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Somali, I often feel that leaving everything to government would be wrong. I feel lots need to be done by us individuals rather than falling back on govt/authorities. We should ask, what are we doing to save and conserve water? Have we done enough? It’s much easier to blame others without doing our bit. I have written about initiative taken by citizens of Jaipur in one of my post:

    Linking up rivers? that’s a huge blunder…environment catastrophe! we will pay huge cost in the long run…playing with nature!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The measures have to be taken at all levels – individual, community and state. Failure at any level will not serve the purpose. A few days back there was a news in TOI about a village in Maharashtra (Hiware Bazar) where they have conserved water very well, with the right choice of crops.
      I remember reading about the restoration project of baori in your post.
      Proper planning and choice of crops could have averted the damages to some extent.
      Yes, linking up rivers may cause a future calamity as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A truly burning topic! I’m not aware of other states, but many parts of Central Maharashtra are severely affected by draught. Parched lips, vacant and hopeless eyes staring the heartless white clouds and the cracked and desolate earth present a heart wrenching image!

    Very powerful and important message indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you Somali for a very timely and insightful post. We are all too casual about this burning problem and tend to only talk about and discuss and debate. Its a horrible situation in several villages of Maharashtra and many other States as you’ve rightly said. A person who returned few days back from Latur district made a comment which says it all “After seeing the conditions there, I’d feel guilty to drink even a glass of water leave alone wasting a drop”!

    Thanks for highlighting the very serious issue.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Kamalji. the problem has been aggravated due to indiscriminate use of water coupled with the lack of rains for 3 consecutive years. People wake up at 3 AM in the morning to fill up their vessels and children make round trips to the borewell many times a day. Every other day there is the news of a child dying on the way or back.
      Water has become a resource that we shouldn’t take for granted any more.


  5. Thanks for highlighting the issue Somali. Only the poor and not so poor have to bear the brunt while the capitalists, the VIP’S and the VVIP’S who control all the money and the power always have enough and just pay a lip service, pretending to do a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A very powerful message told through beautiful rhythm and rhyme ! This is indeed a burning issue we really need to step ahead to conserve water. It’s time for us to commemorate your poem in action.
    Nothing could be better than this to spread the message. (y)

    Liked by 1 person

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