Last weekend I went on a trek to the Kudremukh peak which stands proud and tall in the heart of the Western Ghats. Our winding trail took us through alternating phases of grasslands and dense woods. There was a sparkling mountain stream that greeted us at frequent bends and it finally met us once again when we were nearly at the summit. The stream was a dainty trickle at the top, but close to our base camp it turned into a roaring tumbling voluptuous delight that sported colourful waterfalls and rock pools. The trail itself sometimes felt like an enchanted wood and at other times like an exquisite art exhibition where all the paintings had suddenly come alive.
I travelled with a delightful bunch of strangers (a group put together and led by the Nirvana Nomads – an amazingly soulful travel company). During the course of the two days our group bantered about several things, one of which was about how one decides which parts of the water in a stream is safe to drink. We had the usual points come up. Running water versus still pools, upstream versus downstream, and clear versus muddy. At one point we were joking that animals and other creatures upstream might also be doing pee and potty in the river and that there definitely would be bacteria even in running water. I started thinking about this point and even though I had no doubt in my mind that the stream water was wonderful, yet my intellect was curious to understand more about it’s properties.
I came back home and spent the next two days studying and reading about natural water, specifically mountain streams (indeed I am an eternal student). I learnt many interesting things about what makes water in one place or geography different from another. The minerals and salts of the area (or the areas upstream), the specific vegetation on the banks, the herbs and algae and moss within the stream itself, the composition of the rocks and sand, and last but not least the creatures that form the natural habitat of the stream. Indeed the water of one stream is so completely different from the water of another that we should probably not call it the same water at all. However all these above factors were still about the actual addition of specific foreign particles to the fluid. The point I learnt that most blew me away was about how the structure of water itself is different at different places.
So what do we mean by the structure of water? Water is always H20 right? An almost teddy-bear-face shaped molecule with the large oxygen molecule as the face and the two hydrogen atoms forming the ears. Is that not what we learnt in school? Well it turns out the water molecules are far more versatile and adventurous than our school textbooks give them credit for. Water molecules literally dance around with one another, courting and flirting as the water swirls around. They then form dainty new structures, holding hands (read as hydrogen atoms) to form chains, loops, links and in the best cases large expanses of a gel like web structure. This kind of structured water then begins to have properties quite unique to itself (which are quite different from unstructured water). The easiest way to understand this is to use the analogy of carbon atoms which form the substance of plain coal and also the substance of diamonds. The special properties of diamonds come from the unique structure of the carbon atoms in a diamond (not from the carbon atoms themselves).
Although structured water has several special properties, for me one of the most fascinating property is it’s ability to purify itself. The molecular clusters in structured water are more coherent and because of it’s web like geometry, pollutants, toxins, and chemicals are parsed and separated from the space of the water itself. This way structured water literally purifies itself at a molecular level by expelling heavier molecules out of its tightly knit structure.
By now you must be wondering what is the connection between structured water and mountain streams. It turns out that when water gushes over rounded rocks and boulders and twirls around in the vortices formed between the rocks, that churning movement leads it to naturally structure itself. Little wonder then that the stream water looked and felt so delicious. Indeed scientists who have invented mechanical water purifiers that function purely by structuring water have designed their gadgets to mimic the swirling flow of water as it naturally happens in mountain streams.
Apparently structured water has been a subject of interest for decades now, and there are those who swear by the beneficial properties of structured water as well as those who are cynical about it. There are researchers who have gone on to study even more subtle nuances of structured water which include treating water as something that actually has memory like properties. This is because water apparently has the ability to structure itself based on several factors (not just because of the swirling tumbling physical movement in mountain streams). Some of the other factors that have been discovered to influence the structure of water are light rays, sound waves, magnetic fields, hydrophilic surfaces in contact with the water and electromagnetic radiation. So this means that water which flows from point A to point B will literally carry within it’s structure the memory imprint of the sounds, lights, surfaces, and electromagnetic fields it has been exposed to at every point between A and B.
For me my own experience of swimming in the delightful rockpool downstream was enough to make me believe that there was something special about this water. Soaking and bathing in the water healed the aches and pains in my
body, washed away my regrets and anxieties, and me fall in love with life all over again. And why should it have been any less miraculous? This water carried the blessings of the gods that dwell on mountain tops. This water brought whispers from fairies and elves that inhabited the enchanted woods on the slopes. This water held within it’s structure tonal imprints of the songs of crickets and forest birds. This water had been kissed and programmed by the morning and evening sunlight that painted it in shades of golden and pink. This water had been charged by the magnetism of the earth’s surface. This water had been kneaded by the powerful tree roots that curvaciously lined its flow. This was enchanted water indeed and perhaps that is why it left me enchanted!