“Madam ji, O Madam Ji, utho Anjar aye gaya, ( Madam please get up, Anjar has come ). It did take me a moment to realize that I was amidst my overnight journey to Anjar. It was around 5.30 am in the morning with my first step on the grounds, the chill and sharp winds of Anjar encircle me with a welcoming gesture. It was indeed a comfortably cozy journey. Thus reaching my scheduled residence, I convinced myself to follow the regime of the greatest star of this planetary system whose periodic table demanded to get into the trance of semi-hibernation phase. I woke up with a bunch of crowing ravens and as usual. Well, you remember that I did talk about the flow and flux of varied suggestive proposals and now it is the perfect time to unfold it and plate it before every eager pair of an ear.
Anjar, a land known for its majestic and hypnotize beauty did make me witness a living paradise. The essence of the natural surroundings did enthrall me but the following icon will give you clarity of the panorama from my glance.
Sushila along with her herd of sheep which she likes to call it as ‘ the troop of spirited courage '
The twirled paths of rural Anjar honored me by destining my acquaintance with an elegant yet strong spirit. We did not witness any fancy setting to conduct a formal introductory session but it was amidst the cradle of mother nature we expressed our feelings and shared our cultural diversities. I was feeble with the local dialect. She was mastered by it. Our conversation was not margined by time clicks and any stranger from outside would never believe that we were coincident passengers couple of hours back. Sushila who looked to me in her middle 40’s lives with her three boys who now are engaged in various trade all with the help of their mother’s initiative. She owns a herd of sheep which is no less close to her heart than her offspring and she proudly named them as ‘ the troop of spirited courage’. Every day before dawn she wakes up does every household chores and then marches her troop to the fields with fresh grass.
Being a strict caregiver she carefully parades back with her herd and prepares them for their evening grooming session. To establish an economic stability for the ladies from her neighborhoods she has asked them to help her milking her sheep and thus contribute actively to the production of varied delicious dairy products.
From a mother to a motivator preceded by a successful women entrepreneur contributing actively towards the social cause, indeed Sushila’s journey is remarkable beautiful as it enforces you to think it is just your substantive will power that embarks your journey. Thus witnessing an incredibly mesmerizing charisma I moved forward waving her my deepest gratitude.
“You will be engulfed by an amazing cheerful population”
Latika caring a heavy pile of logs along with her most charming smile
Lakita was amidst her daily routine schedule work when caught my glimpse. The scorching rays of outside warmth seem to embrace her as she profoundly proceeded with her harmonizing smile. I desperately wanted to stop her and witness the tranquility of her smile. But alas I was not worth enough to scrape few of her precious time and with a mannerism of bestowing a blessing upon me, she left.
My inquisitive nature draws me towards the nearest petty shop and a brisk inquiry about Lakita amazed me. With the celebration of 70th year of her birth anniversary, her sons packed her bags and delivered her to their distant relative’s household. It did take her months to recover from this horrific trauma gradually she thought of making a living for her self-subsistence. Her education and skill only got her the work of a daily wage unskilled labor. Since then she happily carries a heavy pile of logs and covering a distance of two kilometers, she delivers them to the nearby wood manufacturing industry. Seldom the community people loosened by sympathy offers her a helping hand but each time she politely refuses them with her innocent humor.
Latika is indeed a real life superhero and yes, of course, this place is enriched by the presence of living deities.
“Your taste buds will be bursting with extraordinary flavors”
My deepest affection towards edibles, honor me with the crown of a starved foodie and to maintain the prestige of my title I went searching for delicious authentic cuisine. A corner of a twirled alley glued my shoes and tangled me into the cradle of nostalgic sweetened memories. Well, the upcoming picture will surely eliminate your clouds of confusion.
Ganga along with the spread of mouthwatering delicious local delicacies
For a moment I did forget my age and hopped down to buy a bunch of local delicacies along with my fellow buyers who were somewhat shocked to see my gestures resembling their age. My taste buds did celebrate a gala of flavors and force me to munch on one snack after the other. Ganga giggled under her head covered with the ‘dupatta’, a long scarf which is essentially worn over Indian attire. Well, I guess my allure over food broke the ice between us as an hour’s encounter enabled to cast her heroic journey before me. It has been 5 years now and she is being labeled as a widow and successfully prohibited from all social celebrations. Her in-laws were of the supreme belief that the car accident that took away their elder son was facilitated by her cursed evil fate.
Abandoned both by her in-laws and her father in the initial years the pavement gladly welcomed her along with her toddler son. Ganga did not lose her hope and worked tediously as a maid in nearby houses to feed her son. That one year brought before her various unbreakable onerous challenges and with every crumbling storm she transformed herself and shaped her journey from a shy homely girl to a woman of abundant willpower. With her accumulated savings over the years, she has now rented a cubicle amongst the adjoining slum and enrolled her son who is 6 years now to the nearby Government School.
The daily cravings of her son for a delicious evening snack laid the formation of the blueprint of her trade. Thus, now every evening a varied, colorful and pleasing spread of snack is being laid down in the corner of a narrow street and jars of bountiful happiness is being unbottled.
“The market is filled with exclusionary apparel compilation”
The ongoing flow of placid breeze filled the dusk lighting up my desire to explore the city’s boutique. Suddenly long rolls of vibrant colored clothes reflected my eyes and I demanded the rickshaw puller to stop which did take him by surprise.
The group of champion skilled women amidst their work of dyeing garments to make ‘Bandhini print’
There was a spread of structured rolls of clothes laid down by a bunch of women who readily indicated among each other that I was an intruder. But my curious nature triggered me with the courage to go forward and as I was about to, hastily my arm was pulled back. I demanded the rickshaw puller the reasons behind his act. With a calmness in his voice, he unfolds that the ladies who were deeply submerged in their work belong to the lower caste, an inhuman discrimination of people on the basis of their birth, practiced only amongst India. Each one of them is either subjected to severe domestic violence or are crowned as cursed souls after their husband’s demise. Their cheap and easy labor attacks a lot of manufacturers under whom they work. Their work revolves around making dying bundles of clothes and then the tie-dye textile is decorated by plucking the cloth with the fingernails into many tiny bindings that form a figurative enchanted design. Their exclusive skill and their sincere hard work neither favors them with capital nor are respected. Their sustainability only guided by their shielded will-power that helps them to withstand every turmoil situation. I paid my enormous salute to these brave veteran ladies and left for exploring the uncharted reality.
The group of women labeled as the joyous women entrepreneurs of all times
The needles of my watch clearly denoted alarmed me about the spread of the evening. Well, my mind is clogged by every enriched encounter that I purely cherish. But little I was aware that a bunch of spectacularly spirited ladies as visible in the immediate above picture would blow my mind away.
These ladies belonging from various economic belts came together to form their own group and goes by the motto ‘One for all and all for one ’. They collectively roam places to collect old clothes from houses in exchange of new steel utensils. The collected clothes are then passed through various cleaning and grooming departments held by each one of then to make them ready for the market. Every weekend the nearby open market is poured by engaging chaotic customers in buying the freshly processed clothes. The profit is then equally distributed among the group members with a small capital being saved collectively for future emergencies. This process is often witnessed by rounds of laughter, feet rejoicing in performing ‘Garba ’, a traditional Gujarati folk dance and song, originally performed as a fertility ritual and surrounded by melodic folk music.The theories of women empowerment, entrepreneurship in the rural belt is truly crafted into realism and lavishly celebrated by these women. Thus indeed I was mesmerized to see the market which is truly filled with exclusionary apparel compilation
Every woman I met in my one day journey, are never pampered by flashy words or gifts on the eve of Women’s Day. Each one of them has withstood a series of unfortunate events but it is their strong, unbreakable will power that has nurtured and help them to grow, to break the obstacles of gender and age. Today they all hope to fly high and it would our honor to respect them as ‘Living Legends of our society .’