Saturday, February 24, 2024

Professional Journeys’ Narrative – 1

During November 1960, we reached Khokhra Par on Pak-India Border. We had to start our journey by Camels, for 80 miles distance towards North. It was seven days journey in all. On an evening we were informed that Camels had been managed and that we had to start our journey the very next day. Following guiding instructions were imparted:-

“Continue journey from morning to evening. Night stay should be at a location where water is available. There is no perfect track for your destination, only the Camel-men will fix the direction through flat sand and sand hills. You have to complete whole work by the end of March, 1961. Instructions for vigilance against snakes have already been imparted and first-aid kit for snake bites has been issued. Historical danger of decoits in the area exists for which you will be accompanied by armed Rangers. Camels’ drinking water is available in the area. Sources of Human drinking water are not less than 40 miles away from your planned camping sites. The Camel-men will manage the shuttles of Camels for supply of water. Stocks of monthly rations shall also be managed by Camel-men only once a month, as these are available at a distance of at least 80 miles. Your salary shall reach you every month in cash, so the Postal Money Orders shall be managed with the ration purchasing team. Camels’ feed is available in the area in the form of dry and green bushes. Be kind to the huts’ residents in the area. Help each other for rations and eatable, etc. etc.”

camelcarvan Camels were loaded with tents, water containers, rations and instruments. So the journey started. I intended to walk my way all along but the team members insisted that I ride a Camel. A row of 14 Camels and about 20 team members looked very impressive and beautiful. Most of the team members were walking on foot. Thank God, they were all healthy and well built. We had our ration for a month and drinking water for 7 days only. Every evening the Camels were set free into the area for grazing and every morning they were collected from the area and loaded for starting the day’s journey. Each day’s camping sites were near a well of bitter salty water which the Camels did not refuse to drink.

There were sand fields and hills all around our passage. These had an exceptional beauty which cannot be seen in irrigated areas and green hills. It is a very beautiful landscape not seen and visited by vast majority of human beings. Shape of the landscape changes after every 500 yards. Colors of sand keep changing from place to place. There are scattered bushes everywhere but no tree. Very rarely if there is a tree, it is carefully guarded for its shade for human beings and animals. Such miracle trees have a well nearby. A scientific research is needed for discovery of its growth and survival in such a harsh area.

Along the route of our journey, we saw small settlements of huts made from dry branches of bushes. Hindus’ villages were disciplined and neat, whereas Muslim villages were in the shape of scattered huts. Hindus’ villages have a disciplined system of proper living. Every such village had its chief whom every individual sincerely obeyed. He is called ‘Mukhia’. At every Hindu village, we were respectfully greeted and offered milk or curd. These Hindus belong to Thakar Rajput tribe. They have numerous Sheep, Goats, Cows and Camels. ———– To be continued…..

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


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Category: Travel

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