Water – thirst-quenching, body-purifying, life-enhancing water

Written by Suraj Shah.

We were helpless. We were hurting. We so desperately wanted to quench mum’s thirst, but we were not allowed to.

In September 2006, when mum was on her deathbed, there was one thing that she craved. You could see the sadness and anguish in her eyes.

The one thing that she asked for, above all else.
The one thing her own children wouldn’t give her at her time of greatest need.
The one thing that the doctors refused her, no matter how much she pleaded.


Her mouth was dry, her throat was sore, she was thirsty, and asked for just one thing to quench that thirst.


She was too weak to talk or to move. The tumours had affected her whole body. Mum would try to mouth some words but we couldn’t really understand her. Now I realise what she was trying to say:

Water… water… water…

We would use an alphabet sheet, where we would point to each of the letters of the alphabet, one by one, and mum would blink her eyes at the relevant letter so that we could construct words and sentences together.

W… A… T… E… R.

But the doctors refused it. They said that due to the state of her medical condition, any water she drank would go straight to her lungs, and that would be disastrous.


So we were helpless. We were hurting. We so desperately wanted to quench mum’s thirst, but we were not allowed to. All we could do was to dip a swab in some water and then apply it gently on her lips and inside her mouth.

That wasn’t enough for her. That didn’t give her any real relief. She knew that we were all helpless. It’s just the way it was. We couldn’t do a thing about it.

We take water for granted

As I write this, sitting here on the sofa, with a tall glass of water placed on the windowsill, I realise just how much we take this simple life-enhancing liquid for granted.

All the coffees and teas and fizzy drinks and sugared ‘juices’ we consume… at the end of the day, the only thing that our bodies need, to stay hydrated, is water, and water-rich fruits and vegetables.

What holds us back from having enough water?

So why do we consume foods that are so dry and dead? Why do we consume drinks that dehydrate us rather than give us life. Why do we fill ourselves with toxins, rather than taking in the foods and drinks that purify our bodies?

It’s our sense of taste. Our need to consume and enjoy things that we think taste delicious. It’s our sense of touch. All the subtle textures we place in our mouth. It’s our sense of smell. The wonderful aromas we breathe in while preparing and devouring our foods.

So much happiness we derive from food and drink. More so, we receive so much happiness by indulging in good foods and delightful drinks.

The truth of our indulgence

But the truth is that these foods and drinks are temporary. They will not stay the same. They will not stay forever. They will change form. Foods and drinks will not keep bringing happiness forever. That happiness is temporary.

These external objects, that we think bring us happiness, are simply keeping us on the rollercoaster of ups and downs, likes and dislikes, greed and hate.

We are so caught up in indulging in tasty toxic foods. We don’t realise the truth behind it. That indulgence in things we consume every day are making us over-eat, over-drink, and over-indulge.

A better choice

In day-to-day life, lets choose:

  • Refreshing tap water over cold fizzy sugary drinks.
  • Hot water over coffees and teas.
  • Water-rich fruits and energy-giving nuts over crisps and fatty snacks.
  • Simple foods over complex meal plans.

Great links for getting more water in your diet

Any other links or suggestions you have for getting more goodness into our diet?

(Photo courtesy of artemisphoto)

My wife’s not a Shah

Written by Suraj Shah.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

The name’s Shah, Suraj Shah. That’s what I’ve been born with, that’s what I’m still known as.

When I got married, I stayed as Suraj Shah. Naturally. The guy doesn’t change his last name for marriage, the girl does, right?

When I met my wife, she was called Heena Modi. Since getting married to me, she’s still known as Heena Modi. She refused to change it. I refused to force her.

It’s her identity. It’s what people in the community know her as. There are plenty of Heena Shah’s out there. There’s only one Heena Modi – to my knowledge. Makes it easy to identify the right wife!

What’s good about my wife is that she can comfortably go around being known as Heena Modi, but if anyone welcomes her as Mrs Shah or introduces us as Mr and Mrs Shah, she doesn’t make a big deal of it.

But when we’re out and about, and she introduces herself first, and then someone calls me Mr Modi, then impulsively I correct them by saying “It’s Mr Shah, actually”.

Why the need to correct?

What makes Heena so ok with being called Mrs Shah, but makes me so uncomfortable being called something other than Mr Shah? Why am I so precious about this name?

It’s my label, my identity, how people know me, the picture people paint of me when they hear the name. So I think.

Is the image of me as rosy as I think it is? Doubt it. I have my flaws – many of them – trying to keep them hidden so that my ‘image’ is not tarnished. But I bet people can see through that. I bet the people around me know what I’m really like – who I am beneath the layers of self-preservation.

Uncovering the layers to reveal the true self

Over the years, these layers have built up, one on top of the other, masking my real self, over and over again. These layers have hardened and protected me from the realities of the world – or so I thought.

What they’ve really done is that they have hidden away who I really am, and who I could be. It’s time to lose the layers, stop hiding, and face up to my true self.

Perhaps when I stop hiding, it’s won’t really matter whether I’m called Mr Shah, or something else.