1. As David Mosse points out, “the relationship between water and society is as com-
plex an historical, so ciological and regional prob lem as any that can be imagined. Any
contribution can hardly fail to be humbled by the fundamental questions invoked and
the weight of antecedent interdisciplinary scholarship” (2003, 1). In their review article,
Ben Orlove and Steven Caton (2010) suggest that the generativity of social studies of
water has to do with its ability to traverse (and therefore connect) our po litical, social,
and biological lives.
2. Instead of using the now problematized terms of slum and slumdweller (see Desai
2003; Echanove and Srivastava 2009; Ghannam 2002); in this book I use the settlement
and settler to identify par tic u lar kinds of urban objects (homes) and subjects (residents)
that are made prior to state recognition. I elaborate my reasons for doing so in the intro-
duction of this book.
3. Arjun Appadurai has argued that emergency narratives stifle thinking and, more-
over, reproduce unequal power relations. In his study of housing activists in Mumbai,
he demonstrates how they refute emergency modes of organ izing and instead practice
a “politics of patience” that allows diﬀerent voices to be heard and gathered (2002, 30).
4. In a provocative special issue on urban resilience, Bruce Braun and Stephanie Wake-
ﬁeld (2014) have suggested that the environmental apocalypse is not in our imminent
future. Instead, they suggest that for many people in the world it is already a pres ent real ity.
We are already dwelling in it (see also Braun 2014).
5. Accordingly, several ngos in Mumbai now host programs through which ordinary
residents can research, document, and tell their stories in and of the city. Pukar, an ngo
based in Mumbai, resources and supports the research interests of hundreds of youth
every year. “Youth fellows” are given the tools to tell their stories, of love and work, of
mills and caste, of ecologies and gender in the city. A cofounder of Pukar, Appadurai has
recently argued that it is critical that such research be carried out and the opportunity to
narrate the city not be the privilege of the specialist alone. Research needs to be “deparo-
chialized,” Appadurai argues, because it “is vital for the exercise of informed citizenship”
(2006). A diﬀerent ngo, Yuva, has focused more on the making of news. They produce
Hamari Awaaz, a video news bulletin that is made by youth living in diﬀerent settlements.
6. Drawing on the work of Marilyn Strathern (2004) and Ursula Le Guin (1996),
Donna Haraway (2014) has encouraged us to populate and destabilize our stories and
retell them as gatherings of experience. “It matters what stories tell stories,” she suggests,