Bhuj, Gujarat May 31, 2010 Mon 1 : 52 PM
The sheer variety in the landscape of this region is enough reason for one to explore and discover and assimilate all that it has to offer. This is but one part of a part of this great nation, and you cannot but admire the veracity of its potential as a destination which if managed well, can become the ideal tourist attraction.
When you are up at 4 AM and on site and location some 60 kms away by 5 AM ready to film, this is what you get. This above is the sea at Mandavi and those that Twitter may have had a first impression of it in the early hours, when I was able to connect to them on my BB.
Calm and quiet, peaceful and isolated the sea a calm soft presence, the breeze cool and endearing and a single wild dog burrowing through the sand furiously, to catch his breakfast – a crab ! In the distance to the left an entire army of Suzlon windmills modern and efficient energy developers, looking majestic against the barren sky and soon enough a traditional drink under thatched roof and mellow glares. It is ecstasy !
A follower on twitter quipped – tomorrow’s headline on the electronic :
“Bachchan on Mandavi beach watching posterior of dog – ecstasy !”
I had described the scenario in the morning on my tweet. Could not help but mention how funny it was to witness this canine wonder, head under the sand, posterior sticking out, digging through its front paws for poor little scared crab, who incidentally, must be digging even more furiously deeper to keep away from this marauding pest. ‘Pest’ said in jest, just in case the animal lovers brigade decides to take offense ! Ha ha ..
Thats a closer look at the ‘crab hunter’ and a closer look at what camera device goes behind the making of these promotional films. Thats a ‘jimmy jib’ that you see protruding out of nowhere and is a long crane like arm with the camera, as you can see, attached to the end. These are used when it is physically not possible for the DOP to operate a camera at a particular angle. The camera moves in all directions through a remote control and the technician can sit far away and control the shot. And I have no idea why it is named after Jimmy !!
I would have ideally loved to have remained in the shot the entire day, tinted blue glares and all, but the Palace in the distance and by the beach was inviting and not without reason. A semi large but cozy ambience, with masses of land surrounding it and of course the architecture amazing ..
This little, well nothing is really little in palaces, this artistically designed terrace was the highest point in the structure. Romantic and in a way quite sensuous. The welcome at the door way was traditional – scented flowers thrown around you as you walk in and garlands and artifacts presented. Shawls of local handicrafts, colorful and amazingly designed and a sword, a symbol I guess of virility and fight.
Lagaan and HDDCS had been shot here and one does not need to wonder why. The Palace stands alone in this vast space, regal and impressive surrounded by wild growth of the ‘ganda bawul’ shrub. Which is all that one finds here for miles. It is, I am told, also used for fuel. They apparently burn the shrub and when it is done with the burning, they collect the charred remains and make it into blocks of coal, to be used in the homes as fuel for their cooking. What nature or man cannot provide they design ingeniously on their own. Survival has been such an educator and inventor !!
There were some interesting signs though as we entered the long drives into the facility. No smoking of course and no music machines and no horns ! I would presume they wished to keep the area quiet for the tented rooms by the sea, constructed specially for tourists to forget urban existence.
A quick visit to a prominent freedom fighter memorial, hidden within narrow lanes and then to another surprise. There is a desire to develop sand castle building as a hobby among the residents of the area. The large and voluminous beaches forming an excellent location for their culture to flourish. The artists who excel in this craft are mostly operating in the state of Orissa on the Eastern coast and many of them have been imported to Gujarat to practice and develop their craft here. And look what they did for me -
They have built an entire mountain on Madhushala, with my Father’s face on one end and mine on the other. Incredible ! Very moving and emotional to see the love they still have for him, Dr Harivansh Rai Bachchan !!
I drive away with mixed feelings of admiration for the artist and his thought and thoughts of my Father. Would he have ever imagined that a day would come when he would be etched in the sands of time in this manner. And that his creativity, first made public in the year 1935 would still be remembered 75 years later on a beach front in Mandavi in Gujarat ! There is pride of course in the greatness of his work, but pride too in the fact that it had such a universal impact all over and for so many years.
I twitter a bit on Twitter, the short term short message short social site. And I find that the expressions on it are more chatty and fun. But within a few days of coming on it I discovered that there are many there who are admirers of poetry and literature and matters and things of a certain maturity. So impressed am I of this that I have been posting some of my Father’s thoughts on it and the outcome has been so encouraging. On many an occasion I have put in, due to the bindings of the 140 characters, a few lines from a poem, only to find the rest of the words coming through from an ardent follower. Simply awesome !! May this tribe grow.
The night beckons, for, tomorrow is a different location and some travel to it of substance.
The Gir forests of the Gir lions, the only location for the Asiatic lion will be covered next and I do look forward to reporting their movements and sightings, if any.
Good night and God bless