March 06, 2023

I stand and take a walk in between the stitched landscape to find the things which are left unsaid and what I found is me, some wildflowers and chorus of withered leaves.

Today, after a long stretch of days I found time to sit on a dew-covered stone in the morning. To my right, I can see yellow flowers rolled over the ground and to my left I see the faded mountain.

Soon, I started scribbling my thoughts in the recycled paper notebook which holds the presence of my forgotten days.

As I turned pages to write on the second page I saw a peacock jump on the boundary wall. The wall on which one side was carpeted with corn fields and on the other side it was a carpet of perfectly cut grass where I was sitting.

Soon I headed to the table as soon as I heard laughter and conversation where everyone was having breakfast.

After breakfast, we all went to see the Pithora paintings in one of the houses of the Rathwa community.

Pithora is a ritualistic painting done on the walls by the Rathwa, Bhils and Bhilala tribes. The name Pithora also refers to the Hindu deity of marriage and functions commonly popular in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The art form is carried forward through generations as a traditional occupation.

Inside the house, three sides of the wall were painted in pithora and on outside the house was encircled by the farm fields on the three sides. The window to the back opened to a cornfield landscape which eventually ended at the foot of a big mountain in the far distant land.

The goat and cows were tied up to one side and a sparrow kept on playing hide and seek throughout our visit.

The kitchen floors were swept in a thick sheet of mud and one can see the texture of it when one opens the windows from which light showers in breeze through the gaps of iron bars which sits tight on the wooden window panes.

In the evening we all packed our bags again and went for a long drive. It was already 5 pm in the evening when we started taking turns at the corner of the roads, we all gazed at the contrasting landscape while our face was covered with golden hour light. It was soon the sun was going to set but we kept on chasing the sun, following the road. In every couple of miles, the landscape drifted from what it was.

We were heading to Jambhughoda wildlife sanctuary. We were passing through the trees of teak, mahua and bamboo thickets covering the length and breadth of the landscape with homes here and there.

Particularly we were going to a Hanuman Mandir (temple). By the time when we opened our shoes to enter the temple stairs, it was already 6 pm in the evening. The sun was back of the mountain now and we can also see some monkeys being playful nearby the temple.

The light was fading so was our energy! We all quickly explored the temple and the adjoining area. Soon we found ourselves back in the car again, now going back to our accommodation place.

On way to our back, we saw dozens of peacocks wandering in the field. This is the time we always see peacocks when we head back.

The day never ends until we come together back again to our dining space for dinner where we talk, laugh and deepen our cultural roots.

The stars kept twinkling, the doors got locked, and the curtains were drawn in.

writings and photographs
by, Masood Sarwer