Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

22. Love and Care

It is second week of January. This is peak winter in this area. It is just 3.30 in the afternoon but the Sun has already decided to call it a day. The Sun is so pale that for a moment I mistook it for a moon. The bright yellow saraso flowers are silent. Are they meditating on a strategy of facing the chilly breeze? On the background of broken earthen walls, the scene is gloomy.

The breeze makes the winter cold more severe. The night temperature drops down to 1 to 3 degree Celsius and it is accompanied by fog. The Hindi word for fog is more beautiful – it is kohara. The Hindi word brings with it a flavor of mystery whereas fog just reminds me of pollution.

kohara starts encompassing the area as soon as the Sun sets, that is not later than 5.00 in the evening. It remains stationed till 9.00 or sometimes even till 11.00 in the morning.

I am in village Sarai Sultani in Pratapgarh district (Uttar Pradesh). We are a group of 30 people from 6 different states. Ten of us have come here to interact with Self Help Group (SHG) of women - other two groups are visiting two other villages. Actually, as always the organizers had told women to gather very early than the planned time. So, according to them we have reached late. The women waited for us and had gone back to their homes for work. Presently the days are too short to finish the tasks. The President of one of the SHG tells us that if women are late for meeting, they have to pay a fine. She half humorously and half seriously asks us to pay fine for our late arrival.

Within ten minutes, 20 women gather. I just see that the discussion is going on in the right way and desired direction. This is my fourth visit to this particular village. So, I am aware of the struggles of these women and I appreciate the change they have brought into their life and in the village. But I want others to find out the process for themselves. Apart from that, only I have a digital camera – so I am taking snaps.

Suddenly, by the side of the meeting I see this picture. A young man is covering a young buffalo with the help of a gunny bag. ‘What for it is?’ I ask. “Oh! It is very cold in the night outside, just to protect the young buffalo’, the young man answers. Looking at my bewilderment he patiently explains, “We use sweaters, shawls, blankets and jerkins to protect ourselves from cold weather, this animal can’t do it herself, so I am just helping.” It was a very interesting scene. The love and care expressed by the young man for his animal was worth watching, it touched my heart.

After the meeting, there were number of invitations to visit their homes. During the round in the village, I noticed all young animals were protected. See the goat here? She is wearing an old shirt. Some goats were wearing woolen sweaters. All young animals were covered with so colorful clothes, that it reminded me of a kindergarten. A number of children around us were smiling and laughing, I was capturing them in my digicam and showing those snaps to them ... which made them laugh loudly.......women were talking, men were discussing.... someone offered us amla laddu - sweets prepared by processing Indian gooseberry....

There was so much happiness and peace around. And Oh! Such a humane relationship these simple people have with their animals. Felt vary happy to see this love, care and concern and thousands of smiles.... Still carry the happiness with me...

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  1. Yes, we have two dogs and my wife will totally agree with that sentiment.. The two dogs sleep with her.. And I have to compete with them for her time.. Yes, animals are our "not too distant" cousins evolutionally and emotionally.. They can offer love without demanding it in return.. I must stop, I am getting sentimental now!

  2. yes! I too saw goats and buffalows covered in sweaters and gunny bags in Jaipur! It was just as moving as your post!
    Thank you for almost stealing my sentiments!! hehehe!

  3. well in Malaysia,i never saw goats or even buffalowas covered in gunny bags since the wheater here is never going to 1 to 10 degree..

    it's is impossible.

  4. Really we think only ourselves and others also but only humankind whom can reach their sentiments to others, we have words to convey but what about these animals?.....When we see any beggar, or needy people on the road we think about them but not about animals........ u gave me a new sight...

  5. Dear Savita,

    It is interesting to read your blog entries and it is very kind of you
    to keep me posted with new ones. I appreciate a sense of mature
    understanding that exudes from your writings addressed to general

    Let us hope that we find time to meet in new year 2009.

    Pramod Kulkarni,
    Freelance Trainer

  6. This reminded me of 2 mth training programme i was attending in Bangalore long back.I had got friendly with sandhya ,a participant who came from orissa.Her father ran an NGO in which she worked.During the training when she called home (some village in orissa) she would enquire without fail about the cows,goat & deer they had.This was unusual for me. She shared lot of their activities. One day she was excited after her call & said that their deer had delivered & was missing to see the kid.I realised how the animals were part of their family.

  7. thanks sachin, anunja, nadhsamuel, ashlesha, pramod kulkarni and veena.

    sachin, i think we get easily attached to animals becasue somewhere we recognize the 'living entity' in them.

    anunja, good to know that we share some sentiments unknowingly.

    nadhsamuel, well i hardly know anything about Malysia... hope to know by reading your blog..

    ashlesha, we even don't think enough about human beings ... shows that we have lot to learn from village people

    veena, very nice incident you have shared.... thanks

  8. For some reason, the images are not visible...


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