Friday, 30 January 2015

Mizaru, Kikazaru, Iwazaru… The Journey of a soul!

January 19 - 24, 2015

Sitting in front of the television and watching the advertisement of Vibrant Gujarat often made me wonder what was so vibrant about the state. Every state in India is representa
tive of its own diverse culture and tradition.

But a study tour with our Foundation batch students changed my perspective of the state forever. Seldom have I come across a state so rooted in its tradition yet so modern in its outlook. 

A visit to the iconic National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, conceptualised by two great American Designers of the time, Charles and Ray Eames, set the pace of our trip. As we navigated the numerous alleys of the institute, we got a glimpse of young Indian designers at work. Needless to say, the flow of creativity oozing out from the corridors and classrooms of the NID mesmerised our own group of enthusiastic middle school students. If NID was an epitome of modern India, the pols of old Ahmedabad bore testimony to a rich cultural heritage moulded by a constant influx of people who settled in the city through the ages.

Our tryst with modernisation continued as we traversed through the roads of Ahmedabad. It was a treat for all of us to see the BRTS (Bus Rapid Transport System) so effectively being used in an Indian city. Technological advancement was also reflected in Asia’s largest Solar Power Park ‘Charanka’, which is expected to generate 600 KW of power in the near future.

Dholavira….a settlement from the ancient Harrapan civilization gave us a glimpse of the glorious past of Gujarat. The students were given a guided tour of the complex system of water storage, roads in grid patterns and a unique system of drainage so quintessential of the great civilization. If Dholavira satiated our thirst for History, lo and behold, the Great White Rann was a geologic masterpiece! Miles and miles of crystalline salt crunching under the feet was an experience our students will not forget in the years to come.

A truly vibrant moment for us came when we got an opportunity to discover the varied forms of traditional art and handicrafts of Gujarat. From the making of the Patola to the dyeing and printing of Ajrak, from the oil dipped Rogan art to the metallurgical spectacle of the copper bells, our students explored them all with much zeal and appreciation. The students were also exposed to the technique of salt cultivation and much enjoyed the company of the migratory pink pelicans and the Wild Asses in the Little Rann.

On the banks of river Sabarmati, in Ahmedabad, is the abode of India’s most loved citizen, the father of our Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The walls of the Sabarmati Ashram reverated with the Ghandhiji’s eternal quest for truth and his ideology of non- violence which gave India its independence.

Mizaru, Kikazaru, Iwazaru………translated from Japanese as see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil resonated in our hearts as we left the portals of Gandhi Ashram.

Harsh climatic conditions and natural disasters have not dampened the spirits of the people of Guajart many of whom have migrated from far and wide and have craved out their own identity in state. Gujarat owes its vibrancy to its people who are proud of their rich heritage and are rooted in their culture even in this age of mechanization.

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