In the land of mystery
Drought archaically means ‘thirst’. Google calls it “a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to shortage of water”.
Drought strikes Marwar (Jodhpur) time and again. People living here don’t have enough water to drink leave alone to bathe and take care of their sanitary needs. They live in extreme conditions. It is a disheartening spectacle.
It in indeed unfortunate for me to touch upon this rather melancholic topic, however heart-wrenching it may be, it is somewhat imperative for all of us to be aware of the environment around us and to give back to it whenever and wherever possible.
Besides what Science and Geography can explain, let me narrate a much believed anecdote that seems to have landed this land of Marwar into so much trouble. This story is interesting when you relate it to the events of drought that this place has borne for hundreds of years!
The mystery lives on…
“In 1459, Roa Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur (Also named after him), a Rajput chief of the Rathore clan decided to build the utterly famous and unassailable Mehrangarh fort, endeavouring to define the prowess of the dry, arid land of Jodhpur. As the labourers began work on the supposed 400 Mt. high cliff called Bhaurcheeria (the mountain of Birds) to build the great fort, the supposed quiet and secluded place was suddenly flooded with a lot of noise disturbing the meditation of the Hermit, Cheeria Nath Ji, the sole human occupant of the hill. Unaware of the Chief’s plans, the hermit was rather annoyed with the trespassers’ derision of Serenity and pronounced drought. Thereafter the region came to be known as Marwar”
Several hundred years after this supposed anecdote, people of Marwar continue to stare at the sky mouth agape, hoping and praying for some merciful rain, but in vain.
The Story continues…
PS: Well, even today the fort is home to thousands of birds, particularly the Cheel or Kite, the sacred bird of the Rathore clan.