Mohan and Roopa are a teenage brother and sister who live in an affluent neighborhood in New Delhi. Their father is an engineer and their mother is a doctor. The siblings have enjoyed very privileged lives with little turmoil. Mohan, the older sibling, has little attachment to material possessions and is environmentally conscious. Roopa, the younger sibling, cherishes the lavish lifestyle provided by their parents and shows little concern for the environment. One afternoon the two get into an argument after Mohan accuses Roopa ofhabitually wasting water.
Mohan: Roopa, does it really take that much water to clean your hands? The tap has been on for almost two minutes.
Roopa: Why are you timing me? It's just water! There is plenty where this comes from.
Mohan: You behave like one of those spoiled, snobby girls at our school. You see how much they waste food when less than a mile away are people who would do anything for a small bowl of rice. You may think our water supply is endless but I have news for you.
Roopa: Mohan, we are blessed to have been born to our parents and do not have to suffer like others. It's not our fault that the underprivileged cannot live as we do. You always talk about how much we have as if we are doing something wrong. Why are you so ungrateful to mama and papa? They just want to give us what they did not have.
Mohan: I'm very grateful to our parents. You know I try to help them in any way possible because they are always so tired after work. Let's not get off subject. I want you to come to terms with your extreme misuse of water.
Roopa: I'm really not that bad! You talk as if I use the sound of running tap water for a night time lullaby, or give an elephant a bath every day.
Mohan: Let's be serious for a minute Roopa! Our country's water supply is rapidly dwindling primarily due to mismanagement of water resources. Other factors like high population growth, rapid urbanization, and an increasing demand from competing uses of water for drinking, agriculture, industry, and energy, are depleting India's water resources. But believe it or not, you can make a difference.
Roopa: But I am only one person! There are over a billion people living in this country.
Mohan: Human beings have triggered this crisis, and it is our responsibility to prevent water scarcity from devastating our country's population, agriculture, and economy. We can only do this by changing our individual actions. I see that you never fail to turn the shower on a few minutes before actually getting in. Your showers are almost twenty minutes. You take two, many times three showers a day.
Roopa: But it takes a while for the water to reach an optimal temperature.
Mohan: Oh please Roopa! You must not be so sensitive. You're forgetting the bucket baths we used to take when visiting Uncle Harish in the village.
Roopa: Ok, but that's the past. I need hot water to cleanse my beautiful hair and skin.
Mohan: Consider this. When you're in the shower, turn the water off when shampooing your hair and lathering with soap. Turn it back on when you need to rinse off. Can you do that for me?
Roopa: Sure, that makes a lot of sense. I'm surprised that has never crossed my mind. So besides my long showers, what other ways do I waste water? I'm really not aware.
Mohan: You constantly leave the faucet running when washing your hands and brushing your teeth; and we both know how pristine you like to be. Use a minimal amount of water. Ok?
Roopa: I can try. I'm surprised you have not said anything about me washing my fruit under running water, especially since I eat fruit every day.
Mohan: I was about to get to that. Washing your grapes, apples, and mangoes in a pan of water would be very efficient, and you can even use soap or a special produce rinse if you wish.
Roopa: Ok, you are right about my wasteful water habits but you have not mentioned that I always keep bottles of fresh drinking water in the refrigerator. This reduces the number of glasses to wash.
Mohan: Oh yes, of course. You see; you have already begun your water conservation practices. And I'm not perfect. I still waste water. But over the last five years, I've really improved after noticing the harmful effects of mismanaging water. It makes me sick.
Roopa: I'll try to use less water. I promise. But do you think I can truly maintain my beauty if I only take one shower a day?
Mohan: Oh Roopa, what am I going to do with you?
Affluent - Having a large amount of money and owning many expensive things.
Turmoil - A state of confusion or disorder.
Habitually - Doing something regularly or repeatedly.
Come to terms - To confront directly and come to understand fully and without bias.
Mismanagement - To manage or control (something) badly.
Urbanisation - The process by which towns and cities are formed and become larger as more and more people begin living and working in central areas.
Optimal - Best or most effective.
Cross one's mind - To suddenly realize or think about something.
Pristine - Completely clean, fresh, neat.
Conservation - The careful use of natural resources (such as water, trees, oil, etc.) to prevent them from being lost or wasted.
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