The Other side of the river story
22 September 2010
Not aware of the beautiful day ahead I head on to travel to the other side of the river along with my father in my travelling shoes.
We visited a small village named ‘Kacharu’ my first visit after I gained consciousness but for my father a regular visit. This village can be assumed near Rourkela-3, Orissa however it is on the other side of the river. This place is reachable through bridge during non-rainy season and during the rain only by boat. Ya sound exciting and beautiful but trust me a regular route is often encountered with scary thunderstorm and heavy rain.
Since, I love to explore the ‘Dehaati haat’ or ‘Tribal Market’, I thought of joining my father on his routine check up service. Currently being the Superintendent Doctor he is having charge of three dispensaries because of shortage of Doctors in the Sundergarh District.
On every Thursday this village turns into a colourful affair of their market spirit. Colourful, bold and tribally stylish is the scenery here. Typical sarees, traditional Ikat motif lungis and clothes cater to all size and shape. Slippers, bangles, make up accessories and daily use goods with distinguish rural taste is remarkable here.
Now how can I forget mouth-watering delicacy? Yes luxury treat, which is, cooked fresh in open air on wood and the smoke fills the air with a smell that hijacks your tongue for it. However managed to escape this hijack effect thanks to Mahtma Gandhi for teaching me well on the controls of senses and also fear of my Medico Father.
So what was selling there? Common do not pant. Samosa, gulgula, bara, jalebi, nimki, sew served with kadi and the seating was essentially woody natural.
Dry fish and prawns
Farm fresh Ladies finger
This flower filled the village with a pinky cheers.
Spring water used for drinking
But how can that one corner escape from my eyes the groovy small space. Where tailor was full on stitching, with his vintage machine. Village is always a good example of better space utilisation concept and also scrap utilisation.
The hilarious Handkerchiefs with tag like ‘Sanaf Bewafa’ or say ‘ unfaithful lover’
Was nicely embroidered no not hand embroidered but by machine. The bold and beautiful hankies were nicely hanged on to the strings with safety pins.
My pick-Yellow handkerchief
Next to this was the nylon, plastic bags or ‘Jholas’ some were vibrant colours and some were regular plastic ones. I am in a habbit of picking all kind of Jholas recently and one amongst this was my new pick up. The bloody red jhola and a yellow boom bloom blossom hanky was my buy from the Haatt. The China Rules! Hats off to china and shame on us. In India Yamuna, Gandak River create flood but the most popular which is flooded and penetrated everywhere is china goods. Torchlight, waterproof wristwatches and weird gizmos are everywhere and even this haatt was not untouched and why not? it is cheap, easily mass manufacturable and reachable.
My pick- Red Bag
So from here I reached to the last corner of the market, which was located quite angularly and was really stunning beauty with earthen pitchers and matka in new forms just delighted me like crazy. The colour was so rich orange. The craftsmen were from a nearby village and were not so happy looking as customers were not much and sale was too low that day. I asked them will they work if I train them for new creative products and they were like why not but reality is they will not so easily start as they know it involves mind, time and money without a promising future at least they have a grip in local market which they will never miss. It is a challenging but I have a faith that it will bear good result with a consistent effort and smart actions in movement. The pot that was more like a replica of the most common form of a brass pot was the new of its kind in pottery and it was good as an ergonomic form.
This shows their skill.
My taste- Pottery
In the market one old man just stopped me with a smile on his face and he asked me in oriya “motte chinu cho?” i.e, “do you know me?” and I was like I am first time coming here so how can I know you. Ya I understand oriya sadri and tribal language but difficult and hilarious when I speak. My guide in the market was my Father’s peon named ‘Madhu’ he was more like my escort J
Madhu is a boy much younger to me but looks quite older. My father was posted to this village when he was transferred from Kuchinda district to Sundergarh district. I was born in Kuchinda village –my father’s first joining here and was brought to Rourkela when he was transferred to Sundergarh dist. and this kacharu village. So I visited this place along with my family when I was just a newly born child. During that time say I am talking about twenty two years back there was no road, bridge or boat that connected this village to Rourkela town. So the only way left was yes cattle or your feet. Walk down the river not the aisle.
So the old person who just stumbled on me was no other but Madhu’s father who was then peon of my father and he used to carry my brother and sister on his shoulder to cross the river. So this was the life then, natural and a struggle. I was sorry that I could not recognize him then he asked me “ tome lucky? sunny kaithi ochi” or “ You are lucky and where is sunny?”
I replied back and said “ Mu lucky nuhe?” and quickly he adds choti. Trust me I was delighted with a balloon heart. It was really nice seeing him remembering us and talking of the old times, almost he narrated all in that short time and it was a roll back for me. It was a nostalgic affair to remember.
It’s an honour to see people love and respect my father and remember us till date. It’s bliss and it’s a heaven. The name of the old figure that standed against the time was Shri Ramcharan.
Many people and patients came to see my father and also me even Goat followed the master who was one of the patient. Trust me Goat have brain like Dog. They were so obedient and listened to the master. I was amazed by ‘Bisri’ and ‘kabri’ name of the Goat and yes the recent fever of the village is 8 elephants and two baby elephos and one being born just a day before we went there. Cannot rely on the numbers and statistic as rumours are normal here but the news is true, as the elephants have fled from ‘Khutgaon’ village, which falls in Bihar Orissa border and is affected by Naxals. Due to constant firing and the tension they have fled to this village. The ‘Khutgaon’ village is also one of the village which captured our childhood best memories as my father had a long term service and the best time here in this village and to pay my homage I had conducted by first ever social cause campaign for the AIDS awareness with the help of my family and friends on my birthday few years back.
To visit a village was really adventure for me. I get to see the ruins of Church and a water spring from where villagers fill their pots, this water taste sweet and sour. We were gifted farm fresh ladies finger by a girl whose two brothers are treated by my father. She was too shy for the camera. She took me to the spring and to her farm.
However, the current season of rain is not so good for villages as chronic malaria and jaundice become a epidemic and because of shortage of Doctors the situation becomes more grim and worrisome.
So I was heading back to home, as it was sun set time. It was the beautiful sunset of my life. On my way back just adjacent to my father’s dispensary is a Green hill with wheat bed on its foothill, which was filled with water. The reflection of the sunrays was spectacular. There was a cattle herd going back to where they belonged and a flock of people waiting on the road to catch the glimpse of the elephants. We too stopped with the hope. Children could really see them even if they were not there. Yes this is called height of imaginations in young souls. We waited and waited and it was getting dark so had to move as we were suppose to catch the boat and then we stopped by the little girl my father’s favourite and new addition to his life. He finds her sweet and lovable and every time she sees him she will say ’nomoste uncle’ a heartfelt greeting. I clicked her snap in her beautiful rose garden, which was again a rare beauty to see. Such roses I have never seen in realties, grounded and standing in full blossom.
Can you see their eyes as if they found the elephants...this was the excitement for watching elephants.
The girl with the roses
Then we reached the river and the boat was as if waiting for us.
Oh God I have never seen such a beautiful sunset although I have seen but every next nature’s beauty is a new distraction. Sitting in the boat silently watching the reflected water and the flow, seeing the sun setting down and the birds going home was a heart melting time with a open mouth and a sealed thought. It captured me, hijacked me and yes CANNOT ESCAPE SUCH BEAUTY. Finally reached home and saw a beautiful woman waiting on the gate with a welcome on her face.
More pictures from the other side of the river.
Mobile mobile everywhere mobile mobile
The baby patient-Child its just a check up not a surgery- i don't know why kids always cry when they see the Doctor. Poor papa :p
The boat man
Nadiya ke paar
Village school and mid-day meal
Girl too shy to pose but too excited to guide me to the spring and the farm.
It is just adjacent to the Dispensary- amazing!!!