SKJ Bollywood News

Shekhar Kapoor On The Water Shortage

Paani is not just about the water shortage. It’s about the callousness of a world where about three per cent of the populace are haves.The rest are have-nots. And what a wonderful way to speak of that disparity through the one resource that we’re most squandering away. My first story was about this runaway kid who sees this big van of water and is asked to pay for it. It struck me then that the first thing about city life is you’ve to pay for the water.Once Devi Lal said something about the way the privileged squander money. “The rich flush down more water in their toilets than farmers get for a whole day of irrigation.” Then one day I went to a producer-friend’s place on the 13th floor and I was told he was bathing. Go down to the ground floor and you pass through theDharavi slums and you see hordes of women and children queuing up for a bucket of water. I realised the poor are paying 2,000 times more money for their water than the guy who was in the shower for half an hour.To me water is the basic resource, the next thing to air. Water is already being bottled and sold. Nobody has the right to pollute our water resources. Imagine mineral water being sold at Rs 150. Water is becoming a fashion statement. I refuse to drink bottled water. I know it’s the beginning of the process to privatise water. The ecological cost of bottled water is immense. A story developed in my mind. I had to make a film. My film deals with a city of 20 million people polarised by water scarcity. The city would be divided into two — below and above the flyovers. The one above would be the cosmopolitan city. That’s what’s going to happen in the future. And that upper city takes over the water resources in Paani. They control the water that filters down to the ghettos. I’m going to make the film contemporary and trendy. I want it to appeal to youngsters. It’s about the exploitation by the first world. And the place where the first world meets the third world is paradise. You get any kind of sexuality and thrills there.”

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