Going Kutch-Meet the Bella Donnas

Kavita is 12 years old and Uma is 10 years .These two cousins would come to our village stay early in the morning  with a huge sack and spread out the wares like experts.They  won over us with their charming ways.We chatted with them and came to know that they are staying in a joint family and the stuff they have displayed is made by the family members.These girls have never been to school.They are learning embroidery at home.I found them very cheerful  and smart.They are quite used to tourists and have even picked up a few english words.One of them told me that she had been featured in a “foreign” magazine.The harsh living conditions  have not dampened their spirits and it was heartening to see these impish duo conducting their sale like veterans.All of us bought  something from them.

I wish I could do something more.I wish they get a chance to have some form of formal education and relish all the joys of childhood.

BELLADONNAS

BELLADONNAS

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Going Kutch-Visit to the Great Rann of Kutch

It was a magical surreal moment when I saw the vast expanse of white salty marshland .I had read about the place  being the largest   salt desert stretching across 7,505.22 square kilometres.One has to see this place to believe that.We  reached there by 4.30 PM and left after witnessing the beautiful sunset. Also walked on the crunchy salt barefoot and took a camel ride.None of us wanted to leave .

The best time to visit is from October till March.The Rann Utsav is  an annual cultural festival and is held in December.I can only visualise the ethereal  beauty of  this place on a full moon night.And I will be coming back some day soon to witness that.

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Going Kutch-village tour

DSC07469We could hardly wait  for the next day and after  the breakfast set out to explore the nearby village.Each village has their own unique style of embroidery,They have a closeknit joint family system and women are given lot of respect. Women are dressed in traditional colourful clothes embellished with mirrors and intricate embroidery.They have that grace and dignity which is very appealing.We were warmly welcomed inside their humble homes.The houses are  also  beautifully decorated.Lot of colours and lot of warmth-that is how I want to remember  them.
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Going Kutch- part 1

A two day trip to Kutch was a dream coming true.It conjures  up images of stunning landscapes ,vibrant colours  ,  master craftsmen. and women  in heavily embroidered  clothes.Then there were movies like Mirch Masala,Refugee  and Lagaan  which  captured this land in all its glory.It is also the largest district  of India and has 969 villages.

After  an overnight stay in Ahmedabad,our group of five  set out for Hodka village  .It is about 400 km from Ahmedabad .Our stay was at Rann Visamo village stay.We were the only occupants and it was an unforgettable experience. There are ten mud cottages known as Bhunga and the interior is tastefully done up with  mirrors.This kind of mud and mirror decorative work is known as Lipan kam and is a traditional mural art.The rooms are spacious.There is an open dining room which is also decorated with colourful panels.We were served simple vegetarian food.We sat up till late looking at the stars and soaking in the ambience.DSC07451P3230073P3230076image (11)image (10)
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