My recent trip to Satara, was an amateur photographers delight. In just a single weekend trip I got a chance to practice and take some beautiful macro shots of flowers of Kaas, the stunning landscape of verdant hills and valleys all around, and some of the amazing local village people.
Since I have discovered the sense / meaning of being a ‘traveler’, meeting & interacting with local people and taking their photographs has become an important element of every trip. And my trip to Satara and around, was no different. We met many local villagers, all with some common features – simple, hard-working and seeking happiness in the smallest of joys. We caught glimpses of people going about their daily lives that is quite difficult – they normally struggle to make ends meet and live in the most basic ways possible. Yet they derive happiness from very small things and were excited just at the prospect that I was taking their photographs and asking shyly if their picture were nice. I am sharing a small part of their lives with you today -
1. We went for a small village walk in a small village near the forests on the hill-top in Satara and saw this women taking the buffalo for gazing. The bag on her head is for buying and bringing back daily supplies for the evening meal.
2. We met some people of the Jangam tribe, which is a unique ethnic group found in these parts of Maharashtra. Unlike their neighbours, they bury their dead and then pile stones over the spot, much like gravestones. It’s not clear whether they were influenced by the practice of the English (after they took over Mahabaleshwar) or whether this is an ancient practice of the tribe. We saw some of these stone graves too.
3. Towards the end of the day we saw numerous people returning home and we saw this grandfather and grandson too. The man is dressed how majority of men in Maharashtra are, but I loved the green cape the kid is wearing to protect himself against the sun and rain.
4. For some reason, everyone here carries loads, daily shopping etc on their head whenever they are walking. I guess this frees their hands to do other tasks or hold other things.
5. Here the main occupation of people is Farming. We saw numerous farmers ploughing their lands and a farmer spraying pesticides over his crops. The plastic bag on his back had a mixture of pesticides and water in a certain proportion, and there was a pump in his left hand. When he pushed that pump in the left hand, the pesticide was sprayed from the nozzle in the right hand.
6. Cattle Grazing is the second most common occupation in this area and all through this area, we saw numerous cattle grazers walking around and escorting their cattle, in this case buffaloes
7. We saw this local woman and a gardener near the Thosegar Falls. She is wearing a traditional Maharashtrian sari which is saree is 9 yards long and its draping is very different from the one worn in the Northern and other parts of India. It is draped like a dhoti below and has a pallu on the top.
8. All around this area, the landscape was lush green and the only color was from the vibrant colors of the sarees of the local women. Everyone here wore sarees in bright maroon, yellow, orange, red etc. I especially loved this woman and her saree below. She posed for the camera and even saw how her pic turned out She was positively beaming in delight.
9. The people here have a unique raincoat to protect themselves from the rain. They have a long jute / plastic cape that they drape on their heads when it rains. Since the jute is thick and doesn’t soak water easily, all the water flows down the back. This cattle grazer below is wearing a local raincoat while walking home in the rains I loved the silhouette of the man and the buffaloes
10. Another cattle grazer in his raincoat and a load on this head. I especially loved the color of the bag on his head and the color on the horns of the buffalo Many people color the horns of the buffaloes to mark ownership and distinguishing between various buffaloes.
Have you ever visited this part of Maharashtra? If yes, how was your experience?