Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kutch forever

કચ્છડો બારેમાસ

Kutch is a wonderful district. People live in hardship but are always ready to work together at the time of crisis. I remember my days of Collector in Kutch. When I proposed to do deepening of Hamirsar lake (the prasadi lake, where Bhagwan Swaminarayan took holy bath) with people's contribution, starting with my one month salary, by the evening we were able to collect ₹10 lakh. We used Haribhaktas (followers of Swaminarayan) tractors, hired JCBs, and use the services of Swaminarayan Sadhus as supervisors and were able to increase the storage capacity of the lake by 1 CR litre more. The excavated earth was used in repairing the shoulders or widening of the roads. After the completion of the deepening of the lake work, Varunyag Yagya was performed and simultaneously we planned plantation of 1 lakh tree. The environment was so positive in the entire district that we had received highest rainfall of the century with 45 rainy days at some of the places. Lake Hamirsar overflowed and I was one of the fortunate Collectors to declare the day a public holiday.

Collector's meetings, parties and friendship with Army, Airforce, BSF, officers were something unique with the district, a lifetime memory. The Japanese lady Rajaram was always a great host. Late Himatsinhji, the uncle of the Maharao was a good friend of all. Maharao Pragmalji was open hearted man, but found in planning of his wealth without great outcome. Ramsingh Rathod was an enthusiastic man always ready to explain the culture of Kutch through his books. Banks in Patel chovisi (24 villages) were flooded with deposits. It is the only district of the state, that has lowest credit deposit ratio.

With 45,674 km2 area (20,000 km2 desert) 1/4th of the State is one of the best districts, I like the most. The topography, the desert, Banni, the Arabian Sea, historical places, ports, handicrafts, people, cuisine, etc, all unique.  Superb handicrafts, different castes, different embroideries: Rabari, Ahir, Mutva, Jat, Suf, kharek, paako, etc. I like the Suf embroidery the most as it is the most difficult embroidery. Each time, the craft woman has to count threads of the cloth before needling it.

And if you haven't spend an evening in open in Kutch, in summer, when the westerly winds coming from the sea crossing the ran and touching your heart and greeting with the pleasure of life, you have missed something great of the life. Evenings of Kutch are the best in the world. There is a proverb, people come weeping when come to Kutch and go weeping when leave it. It holds them in it's love forever. The language Kutchi is a dialect of Sindhi, very sweet and popular amongst the people. However, vagad (Bhachau, Rapar) speaks Gujarati.

શિયાળે સોરઠ ભલો, ઉનાળે ગુજરાત;
ચોમાસે વાગડ ભલો, કચ્છડો બારે માસ.

Kutch hearts give us the feel of the people's heart across the border. It was British and hurried partition in 73 days created the massacre of partition and made us permanent enemies.

2 September 2017

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