Story of Wells



In my childhood days I roamed about the intricate network of stone and dirt roads in this village, and only encountered three wells. Well pumps were more prevalent in well-to-do households, and if their houses were not fenced off, these were regarded as public well pumps. Many older wooden houses had open door policies, and villagers take carrying poles with two buckets to such well pumps to fetch well water for cooking. However, wells were more frequently visited by comparison.

Well water was extremely prized since tap water has not been available in the village. It’s clean and never required chlorination before making its way to our buckets. When the first concept of tap water was heard (from a few villagers who visited the nearby towns), “special grandma” told me that how superior well water was nonetheless: unlike the tap water, well water was cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. “Special grandma” never knew much about chlorination, but she commented on how tap water in cities smelled badly. Indeed, when later moved to such a city, my family used chlorinated tap water for cooking, and at worse times, the tap water carried bits of green gunk whenever the water facility had to flush its pipelines. “Special grandma” regularly took me to a well, fetched a bucket load of water, gave me a shower by pouring well water on me. In village houses, water has been kept in spare buckets, to save frequent trips to and from wells.


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