Saturday, January 22, 2022

Professional Journeys’ Narrative – 5

dacoit Decoits used to play hide and seek with Rangers looting the people of villages. The phenomenon was ages old so much so that people of Rajputana and Thar were accustomed to it. Resistance was almost nil. It was on the pity of decoits to leave or take away the belongings of villagers. One member of one of our teams also suffered at the hands of a decoit absolutely for nothing. While returning back to camp after day’s work, he requested the team leader to spare him for a while because he wanted to collect some dry bushes for the cooking. As he did not show up even after a while after dark the team members smelled some trouble and a group started in search of the companion. Lanterns in hands they approximately reached the spot where they had left him alone. They kept moving ahead shouting at the top of their voice, turn by turn. There was no response. When they reached the foot of a high sand dune, their ears caught a very faint murmur in response to their shouting. They started climbing the sand dune, at the top of which they saw a pack of something motionless. When they approached the pack they heard murmuring more clearly. Here was their companion. Hands and legs tied pointing in the upward direction with his back in a small sand pit. Considerably shocked he was not in a position to answer questions. He did need a little care with a warm cup to tea to explain the mishap. After getting his due, he started as follows “I had collected a sizeable quantity of dry bushes well before sunset. These got too heavy to be lifted over to head for carrying to the camp. Fortunately a camel rider appeared in the mean time. Being a government servant, I ordered him to transport the bundle to my camp by his camel. Before coming down from the camel back, he spoke very polite and courteous. On touching the ground he approached me and gave me a thundering slap with full force. I estimated that I was almost a sparrow in comparison with his physical strength. That was not the end because a series of slaps and punches followed. Exhausted I came to the ground after which he tied my arms with my legs and placed me in the small sand pit. He was a decoit and he did all that in return for the insult that I inflicted on him. I behaved like a pitiable fool. I shall be careful in future”. The ranger accompanying the group confirmed that he was decoit.

Tharparkar adjoins west of Rajputana (now Rajasthan), the Great Indian Desert. Jeselmer, Bekaner and Jodhpur are prominent cities of the area. People of this area have a very attractive culture and they are proud of their culture. Their body complexion is mostly light black but their features are highly appealing. Men wear shirt and Dhoti with Turban on head. Boys at seven or eight start using turban. They are highly cultured and respectful. I shall never forget an eight years old Hindu boy who according to their custom accompanied me a short distance to see me off in complete neat dress with turban on head, a cloth sheet on shoulders and small golden earrings in both ears, he was an impressive model of his culture. His way of talking and listening was gracious. On reaching my camel he joined both of his hands towards me as a gesture of farewell and very calmly returned to his home.

Women generally wear red colored dress from head to ankles. Females’ beauty in the desert is God’s special gift. Without any type of make up and dieting, they are embodiment of perfect fitness in every respect. There are no face creams, no fruits and vegetables to eat and no skin care bathing soaps, still the general health is perfect. It invites the scientists to explore and record the health secrets.

According to my knowledge collected from the locals of various villages. Hindu Thakurs allow marriage of their daughters with Muslim young men. Muslim religious leader does his own way of binding the couple in marriage and Hindu religious leader manages couple’s walk around the fire. I was told that Hindu Thakur wives prove to be the most loyal, helping and cooperating in facing the rigors of life. I was told that these wives not only rear the children but also respect them as Muslim individuals. ———– To be continued…..

Source: Part from a book in process.
Copyright: Reserved


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Category: Travel

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