I Am Going to Share a Secret With You

[creative non-fiction]

A secret about a ubiquitous universal solvent. One that can save your life. And your sister’s life. And your daughter’s too.

If you have a headache, drink some water. If you feel the onset of a headache, drink as much water as you can in slow sips. If you can’t digest last night’s dinner, drink a tumbler full of water, sporadically spread over half an hour. If you can feel your heart racing at ninety miles an hour and you can’t breathe, drink a glass of water. If it still doesn’t help, drink one more glass. That should do the trick. If you are nervous, have a sip. If you have a fever that is not going down, you know what to do. If you haven’t been feeling yourself lately, splash some cold water on your face from the tap.  If you need to feel new again, go out and feel the rain drop on your skin. If you have things to say but no one to listen, let your mind converse under the shower. If you are about to stress-eat, don’t. Turn your attention to a pitcher of water. You get good hair and glowing skin without even getting fat. What more do you want for free? 

You must always have a bottle of water by your side, even when you are sleeping. It can help when you wake up startled and short of breath from a bad dream. If you can’t sleep, drink some water and count backwards from one hundred. If you feel oncoming anger, drink. If you see an angry person coming at you, throw a glass of water at them. It can deflect them. Drink some after a fight. Drink before you speak; it helps in calming down. You must give your plants the same water you drink. Do not discriminate. They are living things too. If you have a cold, add a drop of eucalyptus oil into a broad-necked saucepan of boiling water and inhale the steam. It can work wonders. And if you are too hot from being outside in the summer, wait a while and then have iced water with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch each of sugar and salt. It tastes delicious. Like that of a desire fulfilled. Even more delicious when you have it while soaking yourself in a tub of cool water. Takes away the heaviness of the body and mind.

And if you don’t believe me, ask your mother. She survived this life on account of this secret.

Aditi Bhattacharjee is a sales specialist by profession and a poet by passion. When not in her day job, she is found reading war histories, cooking, or wondering about things that no one finds worth wondering about, like who invented the pillow and why even? Did the ventilator come first or the window? Or how much garlic is enough garlic? She lives in Mumbai with her partner, cat, and a growing family of secondhand books. Her work has appeared in Remington Review and Ayaskala magazine and is upcoming in The Banyan Review, The Alipore Post & elsewhere.