Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
A desert is not something that one sees often.
So when I planned my trip to Rajasthan, I was excited about seeing the Thar desert (pronounced by local as Thudd) that I had only read about in school geography books.
Visions of endless dunes of barren sand that were monotonous yet mystical filled my head.
Unfortunately these visions remained limited to my imagination – as reality failed to match my imagination. There is no such desert!
Where did the Thar desert go?
Thanks to the irrigation canal – Indira Gandhi Nahar Project, that brings in water from Punjab, there is no barren land left in North-West Rajasthan! The land is fertile with crops of mustard, cotton and wheat and the erstwhile barren landscape of only-sand is now dotted with green.
On my entire trip, it was impossible to find stretches that had NO vegetation.
Alas! The desert is no more!
Development has changed the landscape of this state and romantics like me looking for the barren desert are cruelly disappointed. I do hope they update the geography books used at primary school so that no young children may be misled into dreaming about the big Thar Desert!
On a serious note – it is delightful to see that no one needs to suffer for lack of water!
A few images of the Thar Non-Desert.
Technology & infrastructure development has changed the face of Rajasthan – now a ‘power-surplus’ state!
At least a good amount of money assigned to infrastructure development projects sees its way to the actual project and development IS seen in the past 6 decades since independence!
In the days of royalty, none of this was possible. While the royals collected their vintage cars and enjoyed hobnobbing with royals from other states & countries in Paris, the people of Rajasthan went waterless.
The scene is better today. There is hope!