We live in a technologically advanced era that is on the verge of being taken over by virtual reality. Our society has grown to believe in and value Artificial Intelligence above Emotional Intelligence. In the process of competing with the world, we have made a shift from rooted practices of knowledge sharing of library searches, seeking out an expert, collaborating with coworkers, and routine table discussions to a one-touch solution – digital archives. While this might have resulted in advancement, on one hand, we are being disconnected as a society on the other. Reading is a noble and responsible practice. Our growth as individuals is nourished by our thoughts and beliefs, which are predominantly influenced by our choices of primary sources of learning and knowledge-seeking
Mosaic is the decorative art of creating pictures and patterns on a surface by setting small coloured pieces of glass, marble or other materials of choice. Working on the same lines, the Karigari Studio offers an exquisite range of home decor products that will add a splash of colour to your place instantly and is also engaged in teaching you the mosaic art. Based out of Ahmedabad, India, they have the premium quality materials from the trusted vendors. The delightful range includes glass mosaic and wooden mosaic that will adorn the empty or other areas of your otherwise boring space.
‘My out of the box approach, fresh concepts, visual designs and the desire to add an interesting touch to mundane aspects of life is what drives me to create unique every day. What sets me apart from others lies in the customization factor. I believe that mosaic artwork is one of a kind which can be justified by their fascinating shapes, colours and complexities. Welcome to the world of mosaic art!
An engineer turned by mosaic artist, I have been passionate about designing and always felt the need to have something of my own. It’s been around 4 years since I embarked on this beautiful journey and there has been no looking back since then.
Ever travelled through Gujarat and wondered what is the most amazing thing about Gujarat and Gujaratis?
the sweet people of Gujarat and the Gujarati language amazes me as in how a single language can have so many variations from slangs to accents. There is this Gujarati proverb which says that, ‘Baar gaav ae boli badlay’, this means that the language changes after every 12 kms in this region. The same language is twisted a bit as per the local comfort and a personal touch is added to it by every individual.
Gujarat is divided into three geographic regions: Kutch, Kathiyawad peninsula and mainland Gujarat. The variation of language can be seen in all of these regions. In the region of Kutch, there are Kutchi speaking people. This language is a combination of Sindhi and Gujarati language. In the regions of Kathiyawad, which is popularly known as Saurashtra, the language becomes even more friendly and welcoming. As Gujarati language developed in different regions, many other influences affected the written and spoken delivery of language. The traditional dialect is believed to be spoken in the regions around Ahmedabad and Baroda. Some of the popular dialects are Surati, Khakari, Kharwa, Kathiyawadi, Mehoni, Parsi – a version spoken by the Parsis who migrated to Gujarat from Iran and this version can be considered closest to the Surati version, East African Gujarati.
The coastal Gujarat that is the Kathiawar peninsula and regions like Surat, Navsari of South Gujarat are more cosmopolitan compared to the interior regions. These regions were amendable to cross cultural influences and there was a huge impact of traditions which came along with the people as they migrated to these regions for trade and employment. This migration brought people speaking languages other than Gujarati.
The coast is ‘not the end of the world’, rather it is initiation. The sea unites the regions with the movement of the seafaring population : traders, sailors, sufi and migrants exploring merchandise and destinations. The Gujarati seafarers were tandels, nakhudas, khalasis and others, who belonged to both Hindu or Muslim communities. They followed independent or joint rituals and spoke the same language. While the men of the house were away on their sea journeys, the women managed the household, community transactions and sometimes engaged in arts and crafts. Their routine also involved mending fishnets along with cleaning and drying the fishes.
The fishermen were divided into Kharwas, Bhadelas, Miyanas and Waghers. These communities were earlier engaged in piracy, but abandoned it and became sailors. The Kharwas are of three ethnic groups- Rajputs, Kolis and Muslims. They are found around Veraval, Mangrol and Porbandar. The Koli Kharwa are the descendents of the pirates who were active on the coast of Saurashtra. While the Wagher community have both Hindus and Muslims, the Hindu Waghers do not eat food prepared by their Muslim counterparts. However, they gladly marry their daughters off to Muslim Waghers, accepting heavy monetary benifits in return.
Religion has become an important part of the coastal landscape. As the folklore suggests, Gods and Goddesses, Saints or ‘Pirs’ of the sea who, through their spiritual powers have saved the ships and crew from the disasters of the sea. On the coast, religion has to do with customs to ensure safe voyages, or a large catch or a favorable monsoon so that fishing could resume. Many Hindu and Muslim shrines are found in the port towns of Gujarat. Thus the ports not only act as nodes for movement of commodities and capital but also are cultural nodes.
The influence of the sea has always inspired religiosity. This shows the faith of the seafaring communities upon which various rituals and traditions are found. The coastal people considered the sea as a divine and spiritual space where the Gods reside. Humans have always feared the unknown, especially the sea and that is why they seek to overcome this fear through such reverence. In this respect, an important tradition is the observance of the ‘ Dariyai navu varsh’ or Maritime New Year for setting out to sea.¹ This not only provided spiritual foundations to shipping and ship building but also inculcated a sense of security during the voyages.
It was November of 2012, the winter had just set in and it was time for a long due visit to the Dunny islands. I was thrilled to be on this tiny island with my family. We travelled from Ahmedabad to Bet Dwarka via Dwarka and an exciting ferry ride further was to land us at the island.
The first sight of the sea at the ferry station took everyone’s breath away. We were going to sail in the unknown waters for the first time. The stirring adventure began with the ride. Our hair dancing with joy in the air, our scarfs trying to escape and our smile beheld.
On reaching the Island, my sister and I couldn’t contain our excitement any further and ran towards the beach on the other side. Just as we were to step into the water, the instructor signalled for everyone to assemble. Keeping aside the disappointment of interruption, we went up to take note of the safety instructions and living arrangements for the trip. For the entire duration, my attention was caught by the sound of the waves hitting the shore as I stood there, captivated by the ecstatic beauty of nature.
As soon as the instructor freed us, we raced again towards the water. Running barefoot, the first touch of the wet soil gave me butterflies and I slowed down, letting the soil titillate me and when the first wave of water hit my feet, the experience was ecstatic! I felt goosebumps all over my body. The cold pebbles under my feet were tickling, the chilled waves of water were washing my feet, the cool breeze combined with warm morning sunlight brushed my face, setting my hair free in the air. Right that moment, I wished the time froze.
A night in time, As our lives entangled in city glow, With our mobile screens, laptops, and social brag, With our vigorous lives, anxiety, and outrage. Being an old soul heart, I rescue from the tangible jungle to unveil a place, An impression bound forever, Full of darkness, Deserted lands, A quest with pizza and cigarettes, A stillness of music, Where breeze could be heard, Stars tickled,
Silence comprehended, Feeling fragile and empty, I look at the sky, Full of twinkling stars, Dancing, crawling, jumping, running, In the shadow of a silhouette, In the blinking of glimmers, Howling and whining, To just pause and feel what you feel, To lose yourself in the chaos of infinity, Touching the moment, With stardust,
Deeper the roots, stronger is the tree. The process of growing and our roots intact determine the firmness which aids growth and paves way for others to grow and prosper.
Somasar, a small village in the Wadhwan district is a place which humbles you. The people there are mostly either farmers or they make Patola. And to see how they have modernized themselves yet stay true to their roots is what makes the place worth saving in my memory. Some places and settings we experience let us become a bit more than what we are! More aware, more humble, more spirited and more rooted. As a traveler, this is all I strive for!