Chhanna: The Best Gift of My Life

This conversation is inspired from a real-life conversation happened in my life.

Sister: What have you brought for me? Where is my gift?

Brother: I have brought something very good for you today.

Sister: What is it? Show me. I am so excited to see my gift.

Brother: Here it is. Take it.

(Brother gives her two cotton cloths from his bag.)

Sister: Cloth?!

Brother: No, Channa(छन्ना, a cloth that is used to filter water) for you. One for your drinking water and another for washroom purposes.

Sister: Wow! That’s so thoughtful of you. But I don’t know how to use it.

Brother: Don’t worry, I will teach you. It’s so simple.

Sister: Yes, please. Can we take any cloth for filtering water?

Brother: No. You should always check if sun rays are passing from the cloth when it is wet and doubled. If the rays can pass, the micro-organisms1(Jeev) too. So always make sure you use a cloth with two folds.

Sister: Oh! Can you demonstrate to me how to filter water with this cloth once?

Brother: Yes, why not! But since this is a new cloth, we must soak it in lukewarm water for some hours and then dry it before using it. I have an old channa with me. I will show you the process with it.

Sister: Okay!

Brother: Fold the channa, keep it on the mouth of the vessel and start pouring water slowly. Make sure that the minimum area of channa becomes wet. Because if the boundaries of the cloth become wet, some water can also pass out of the cloth without being filtered. After you have filled the vessel, keep some more water for Jivani(जिवानी).

Sister: What is Jivani?

Brother: Since we have filtered out micro-organisms belonging to the water, they are now on our channa. Jivani is the process of making sure that these micro-organisms reach to their original source. Though we should use water from wells only, yet if that is not possible, we can try the best available option like tap water.

Sister: How to do Jivani?

Brother: The extra water we kept is to be used for Jivani. Pour some water sideways starting from the face we used for filtering, then open the cloth and filter the two inner sides of the cloth. At last, filter the fourth face which was inside the vessel.

Sister: But why on the fourth side?

Brother: Because it might happen that some micro-organisms reach to the fourth face while doing Jivani of the third face. That’s why.

Sister: That was quite a good point. I will consider it. Anything else?

Brother: Whenever you strain this cloth after doing Jinvani, strain it at a separate place. It is now filtered water so micro-organisms might die on coming in contact with it.

Sister: I will remember to strain it in a separate place. Is there any restriction on the size of the cloth?

Brother: Yes, the cloth should be thrice the size of the mouth of the vessel after being doubled. The mouth of the vessel must be at the center of the cloth.

Sister: How long can I use this filtered water?

Brother: The filtered water must be used within 48 minutes. You can extend the duration of use to 6 hours by changing the color, taste, smell or temperature of water by adding cardamom, fennel seeds, the outer layer of fruits like oranges/sweet lime. On boiling this water, it’s usage validity increases up to 24 hours. But never use once filtered water by filtering it again.

Sister: What should I do if the filtered water is not consumed within this time frame?

Brother: You should avoid such situations as far as possible by filtering only the needed amount of water.

Sister: Thank you, brother! This channa is the best gift I have ever received.

Brother: Don’t thank me. Just make sure that it gets to drink water every day. 😛

Sister: Haha, I will.


  1. Only two to five sensed organisms(त्रस) can be filtered out by this process.
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A Picture of the Gift: 😀