A girl and her dog looking over a railing at a lake with the sun deep in the sky.

Reflecting on Water: A Journey of Awareness and Renewal by Srishti Ratnu

Reflecting on Water: A Journey of Awareness and Renewal

By Srishti Ratnu

World Water Day is a moment of reflection, action, and awareness, emphasizing the fundamental role of water in our lives. For me, this day holds a deeply personal significance, intertwining with my essence, experiences, and the very fabric of my existence. As a Cancerian, the element of water is not just a necessity; it is a part of my identity—a force that shapes my moods, health, and well-being.

I hail from Ajmer, a small town cradled by the ancient Aravali Range, which whispers tales of a time when they stood taller than Everest. Ajmer, shaped like a bowl, harbours two serene lakes, Anasagar and Foy Sagar, which have been my sanctuaries since childhood. These water bodies are not merely geographical features; they are the heart and soul of my small town, embodying tranquillity, beauty, and the essence of nature.

However, my connection with water and its healing power was profoundly deepened through adversity. In 2022, I battled a long COVID-19 spell, an ordeal that left me disconnected from my body and mind, engulfed in a haze of illness, memory loss, and depression. It was during this tumultuous period that a tiny beacon of joy entered my life—a German Shepherd puppy whom I named Mini as she was the miniest pup I ever saw. This little creature became my lifeline, rekindling my zest for life. Our daily walks along the lakefront, her playful sprints, and our moments of silent companionship by the water’s edge were my therapy, gradually mending the fractures within me.

A girl and her dog looking over a railing at a lake with the sun deep in the sky.

While regaining my strength, I stumbled upon a grim reality that painted a stark picture of climate change’s toll: our beloved lake’s edges receding and the ground littered with fish that could no longer swim in its waters. This reality brought a shadow over both my spirit and that of my loyal companion, Mini, as we faced those hot June days. The once joyful paths we trekked together were suddenly off-limits, sealed to thwart the threat of disease, stealing away our daily moments of happiness and connection. Explaining to Mini why our walks by the water had to pause, seeing the confusion and sadness in her golden brown eyes, was heartrending. Watching the authorities spend days cleaning the area, making it safe and free from the foul stench, was a sobering sight. This experience jolted me into awareness, shedding light on the consequences of our collective neglect and the critical need for more responsible stewardship of our environment.
As a resident of Ajmer, witnessing the degradation of these lakes—once pristine sources of joy and solace—has been a painful experience. The accumulation of plastic waste along the shore, the persistent algal blooms continuously expanding, and the unusual patterns of Siberian migratory birds failing to return to their native habitats were glaring indicators of the ecological imbalance we’ve created. The deteriorating health of our planet, mirrored in the plight of these water bodies, is a testament to the urgency of addressing the climate crisis.
World Water Day is more than a date on the calendar; it’s a call to action, a reminder of the indispensable value of water in our lives and its profound connection to our well-being, community, and the environment. As I reflect on my journey, from the depths of illness and despair to a renewed sense of purpose and awareness, I am reminded of the power of water—not just to heal and nurture, but to inspire change.
Let this World Water Day be a turning point for each of us, a day to reaffirm our commitment to preserving our planet’s most precious resource. For me, it’s a pledge to protect the waters that have cradled my town, healed my spirit, and awakened my conscience. Let us all take a step towards conservation, towards understanding the rhythms of nature, and towards a future where water, in all its life-sustaining glory, is cherished and safeguarded for generations to come.
Story by Srishti Ratnu
Student at Humber College

"My favourite body of water is Anasagar, a small lake in my hometown Ajmer in India.”

Stories of Water and Change

In honor of World Water Day 2024, this online feature is dedicated to celebrating the profound connection between individuals and water, while shedding light on pressing global water issues. This diverse collection of personal narratives and photographs serves as a testament to the multifaceted relationships we share with this vital resource. As we immerse ourselves in these accounts, we are not only inspired by the depth of individual experiences but also reminded of the urgent need for collective action to safeguard our planet’s most precious resource.