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Kutch, the dry desert region whose people make up for the lack of colour with their spectacular clothes, is becoming a popular travel destination.
I am a self confessed travel buff. I never leave a chance to pack my bags and head towards the most amazing locations. My professional commitments have taken me to places like UK and USA but not the way I would like to explore it. Since it has been a short visit each time, I do not consider myself an expert in international travel yet.
I got a chance to visit my roots recently as I come from the Kutch region of Gujarat. The sheer display of colour and grandeur awed me. I was always aware of the art but being able to experience it in the flesh and blood was a different experience.
Kutch is a desert, as well as a district in the Western state of Gujarat in India. The dry spells in this region last for years or decades and the landscape is dry but beautiful.
Handiwork is an integral part of this locality, which dates back to the Mughal era. The handiwork consists of designs of peacocks and other such inherent in nature but also keeps itself updated with the latest trends.
With a philosophic bend of mind, I always try to research the truth in everything I see and the artwork in Kutch was no different. My grey cells got me restless and I researched a lot on the historical importance of the art.
The mirror work and intricacies of the designs are used by the tribals in Kutch to add the imagery missing in the landscape in the desert that is always under a dry spell – except for the monsoons when it is submerged by the rivers and becomes a wetland.
Life is not easy for the tribal people of Kutch. Well connected to nature but without modern amenities and electronic gadgets, yet it does not stop them from enjoying the beauty of an understated elegance.
Pic credit: Meena Kadri (Used under a CC license)
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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