Warmth in the Heart, Tear in the Eye : ‘Aabhari’ as the Warlis say

The rains have left the virgin forests of Jawhar to look fresh and pure in a soothing green. A moist layer of mist envelops the leaves and a cool breeze lingers by. Dabhosa gushes in complete enthusiasm leaving all the tourists with awestruck beauty! 

Dabhosa Waterfall, Jawhar

By the delicate boundaries of the waterfall, I stand and cherish the momentum of this majestic beauty and just somewhere I hope for time to stop by. It drizzles slightly and then in a moment, the grey clouds vanish by; leaving a dramatic sky with various patterns of clouds. 

It’s been a long day, but a rejoicing one; I somewhere gasp.

The sky is now painted in pastel blue and the sun is shining at a distance.

Quite soon, the sun will diminish leaving its glow in the light of dusk and outstrip the stark darkness of a starry night. After which, I too will have to head backwards. 

It was a long day though and I wanted to take a moment to freshen up for which I approached an adjacent resort to let me use the toilet but the guard was rude enough to allow me in! 

Despite insisting him constantly he continued refusing me! I finally gave up on him and started walking towards Dabhosa village and gave a thought of requesting the villagers to allow me to use their loo! 

At a distance, I spotted a dusky woman sitting on the steps of her house and cherishing her child’s innocence. She was young and cheerful! 

It felt strange in the beginning but then, I had to break the ice and ask!

I finally requested her if she could allow me to use their toilet to which she welcomed me with a smile and directed me towards the toilet which was located on the backside of her house. 

I smirked at her and she responded with a joyous gesture making me feel entirely hospitable and welcoming. 

Sangeeta with her kid, the toilet at the back

Sangeeta’s house (her mother-in-law)

While I bid her goodbye and asked to click her picture she was shy and muttered few words in Warli. I still clicked one to treasure the moment. While I took her picture I saw her enthusiasm spark in her eyes. 

We didn’t speak any language in common. Our gestures did the talking. Though she understood when I asked her, ‘Aapka Naam kya hai?’ and mumbly replied, ‘Sangeeta’. I just knew one word in Warli ‘Aabhari’ (thank you); hearing which a gentle curve appeared on her lips.

Read more about the Warlis here

In some time, I had to leave. I had a nifty time enjoying solitude but somewhere though I felt that I was taking along with me a huge chunk of love in an empty heart! 

Even today, I rethink to myself; of how much we all are in the dire need of love.

Maybe, it is only ‘love’ that sustains the life of a wanderer like me to foreign lands. Maybe, it is only the warmth of a complete stranger that makes me feel ‘I’m at home’ Maybe, it is only the affection that a stranger bestows to welcome me to be a part of their family.

Or maybe, love is the only reason I find myself hitting the road yet again!

While the sun is long bygone; and with the passing moments of love among strangers, I find myself comfortably placed in front of the steering wheel and I ask myself,

 

Are we really heading towards development in the name of being the country with the highest number of open defecation?

Are we modernizing at the cost of humanity?

 

Also, Read

Travel plays a better hand at teaching me Sociology – Life as a local in a remote village

More about Jawhar 

Far-off from the City hassles, Close to the city, Near to my soul – A Photo Essay

A Photo Vista: A Gem Wrapped in a Forest Foliage, Jawhar

Within the forested regions, among the tribes – A Folk Saga

 

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