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Tender Shoots

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rahul.mesh View Drop Down
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Joined: 20 Jun 2012
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    Posted: 18 Aug 2017 at 1:15pm

Tender Shoots

This blog post is translation of an article published in marathi daily 'Loksatta' under column 'Ghatmathyavarun' on 5th April, 2017.

From Bharad my journey took me along the banks of Narmada into the Satpuras. Passing through villages like Thuvani, Keli, Atti, Paula, Debramal, I was getting to know the mountains better. 


While going to Atti from Keli

The Satpuras – hilly, rugged, bare. The sparse green patches accentuate the barrenness of the mountains .With steep cliffs, craggy mountaintops, narrow passes and rocky paths, the range presents a formidable challenge to human existence. The living conditions here are harsh and unforgiving. As the small springs and pools dry up in the summers, the villagers trek up and down and across the mountains daily, driven by their need of water. With the exception of a few, most of the villages and hamlets are isolated and cut off from the outside world, with no roads just mountain paths taking you there.  The few that are connected by roads can be reached by jeeps, which are the only mode of transport in this hilly region. The journey one way costs around 100 Rs.  an expense hard to bear for the villagers here, who need to travel to the taluka or market for almost everything: from groceries to land matters. There are no irrigation facilities and no electricity either .Just a few solar lamps.  Inspite of the primitive existence, schooling and education seem to have taken roots. There are hostels for adivasi children, who complete their B.As and B. Eds. But lack of work opportunities in this area takes them to taluka or faraway cities and these villages remain as they are: remote and primitive.

Thus I journey through these mountains, under the scorching sun, awed by the sheer cliffs, humbled by the tenacity of the people living here. 


Bhakri
Come lunchtime, I find myself in a small hamlet. My body needs rest and food. But I need not ask! As I approach the airy bamboo huts and greet the people living within, the woman of the house has started preparing a meal for me. The simple meal of jowar or millets Bhakri and pithla (made from udid dal or other lentils)  accompanied (rarely) by an onion or a raw mango (hardly any vegetables to be seen here) is immensely satisfying to a hungry stomach and the hospitality drives away any small pangs of homesickness I have. I thank these simple loving people with all my heart and move ahead. As I lie on the bed in the evening on a cot provided by some good family, covered with blankets, with a stomach filled with yet another meal lovingly prepared, I think of these mountains and the people here. 


Villagers

I lie there under the star studded sky, the quiet darkness enveloping me and cool breezes soothing my aching limbs. I wonder at nature’s marvels and how life never ceases to surprise me, as I think of the tender shoots of humanity that thrive and flourish in these harsh, barren mountains.

Prasad Nikte
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(¨`·.·´¨)        Always
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RAHUL MESHRAM
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