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Becoming Voice Of Women Water Carriers, Instagram Poets Pen Down Their Struggle

  • IWB Post
  •  April 23, 2019

 

On the first day of MaahiRoj 2019, after having a heart-to-heart conversation with women water carriers, Instagram poets reached the exquisite step well of Jaipur, Panna Meeya Ka Kund (widely known as Panna Meena). The place rhymes with scenic beauty, with steps building downward a mosaic of stories and women’s destinies, long forgotten by history. As time was passing, these women’s descending voices were turning into whispers with steps moving down to the water, and this year, at MaahiRoj, we wanted to echo the global water crisis in that bleak voice from the well. 

Under picturesque chhatries of the step well, Instagram poets were soon joined by water activist Dr. Rashmi Dickinson, who set up Amber trust and Amber Eco-Trail that works towards water conservation, afforestation, wildlife conservation, and green energy production.

Dr. Rashmi shared, “We clearly have to revive the historical practices of water conservation like having the baoris (step wells) as they give us a connection with water which majority of us have lost. We have to bring together modern and historical practices to tackle water issues. Everyone needs to be water sensitive, and wasting a single drop of water should be something that people should look at and say “what are you doing”?”

The conversation with Dr. Rashmi left a lingering thought in everybody’s mind,  “Why don’t we question our roots?” With the whirled emotions of anger and determination of a bitter sweet kind, the poets went off to weave stories, like those steps plunging into depth of women water carriers’ lives .

However, before we let these Instagram influencers, Somya Singh, Sanket Singh, Bhavika Joshi, and Nimisha Verma, reflect on solitude of the rhyme, we had a quick chat with them about water conservation and how they wish to contribute to the cause through their poems.

In conversation with Somya Singh

Somya Singh explained how the words of women water carriers were looming in her mind. She said, “I was amazed how diligently they had been fetching water for their families since childhood. Their wrinkled face and gentle smile spoke a lot.”

Absorbed by the architectural beauty of Jaipur, Delhi girl Somya adds, “No matter where people reside, what we do for a living, our beliefs, or age, all of us relate to water and its nurturing powers.”

“A practical approach to the water conservation should be in place. In cities, we are not walking miles to bring a jar of water. We are privileged with so many facilities. The roads are full of people who are screaming, “save water”, but is it making any change?”

Letting us into her ‘mind palace’ (Uff, Sherlock), Somya talked about her water poem, “I think I am not going to write about the struggle or pain, but rather about women’s grit, patience, and passion.”

Somya smiled and added, “As I am admiring this piece of beauty, ‘Steps of life’ is one poetic line going repeatedly in my mind. Like, water is the necessity of life, there are steps which is taking you to your destination. But you’ve to toil hard to get in there.”

Walking in the lands of the royalty, Would you ever notice her, the loyal? Strolling through the shimmering gold dusted ways, Walking in their ethnicity glaze. With that glittering silver jewelry, the scarves covering their heads beautifully, The love in their bright eyes, the rhythm of their anklets arise, walking in groups of beauty, carrying water like it’s their duty. Water ripples as they walk holding those jars, A little drip here, and there, marking their way all through. it’s her, every day’s to do. And what makes her beautiful, isn’t her charm or Grandeur, It’s her courage, her dedication, her integrity, her selflessness, her love, And her allure. She might look like one of us, But, don’t confuse, she isn’t. She is a queen and this queen, Knows how to get everything, on her, without any help, nothing stops her, not the thundering rains, not the fast blowing winds, not the furious sun, nothing at all, She’s got it all. We are proud of who she is, and how she toils without a miss. #MaahiRoj2019 #Women4climate #waterconservation @anantaya_decor @indianwomenblog 💙 #Fromscribblestowriting #Portrait @pursuitofportraits @agameoftones #portraitkillers #earth_portraits#discoverportrait #majestic_people#portraitstyles_gf #ourmoodydays #bravogreatphoto#portraits_mf #featuremeseas #moodyports#portraitgames #agameoftones #AOVportraits#portraitcentral #ourmoodydays #pursuitofportraits#moodygrams #resourcemag #portrait_vision#highsnobiety #agameoftones #quietthechaos#hypebeast #kdpeoplegallery #portraitpage

323 Likes, 18 Comments – Somya ✨| Delhi 📍 (@thedarkescape) on Instagram: “Walking in the lands of the royalty, Would you ever notice her, the loyal? Strolling through the…”

 

In conversation with Sanket Singh

water

Later I was joined by Sanket Singh. We dangled our feet down into the blackness of the step well and silently observed the families clicking photos and the guides narrating the history of the place.

“History is a form of art. This place is called Panna Meena…”, he took a pause and corrected himself, “Panna Meeya Ka Kund. Sadly, history is being manipulated from the past hundred years. As Rashmi Ji said, we need to ask questions and go in depth to understand the truth.”

With the foul smell of water invading our senses, Sanket thoughtfully noticed, “The people living in villages have no choice. They are using the same water for drinking as well as household chores. Also, not like us, they are using water carefully, every drop of it.”

Talking about using a water metaphor for his poem, he added, “Women are like Rohira Flower, the state flower of Rajasthan. It is grown in barren and desert areas. Just like the flower, women have that potential to grow in such areas and nurture others.”     

“No one can beat a woman’s love for her children, They are walking miles to fetch water so that their children don’t face the same problem. Women maintain the flow in our life, just like water. If she stops, everything else does.”

[19.04.19 – 3/3] _____ पाकीज़ा आँखों वाली, काले घने जुल्फों वाली, रूप संवारती, हर अदा पर इतराती जैसा तुमने सोचा था, वैसी नहीं है यह औरत। दूर मक़ाम को जाती है ये औरत वीरान रास्ते में गगरी थामें, बूंद बूंद पानी के लिए चलती है औरत। कभी माथे का पल्लू संभालते, कभी हाथ में लिए बच्चे को दुलारते, देखो वह चलीं जा रही है औरत। बंजर जमीन को अपने रक्त से सींचती, औरत, गुड़ की ढेली सी मीठी,औरत। रोहिड़ा के फूल सी हर आंगन में खिली है औरत, रात में जुगनू बनकर, घर को रोशन करती है औरत। नदी की धार सी निर्मल, औरत, पर्वत की चोटी सी विशाल है औरत, जिसको तुमने सिर्फ घर की लक्ष्मी समझा, वह इस संसार की जननी है, औरत। जब घर के सारे मर्द काम पर जाते है, निडर चौखट पे शाम को रात करती है औरत। बारिश जो न आएं सालों साल तो, खुद मेघ बनकर, खेतों में बरसती है औरत। कहाँ ढूंढ रहें हो तुम उसे घर की चार-दीवारी में, नजरें उठा कर देखों तुम, आसमान से नजरें मिला रहीं हैं औरत। औरत को दर्जा दो औरत का, वरना तुम्हें मर्द कहना भूल जाएगी, औरत। – संकेत #maahiroj2019 #earthday #women4climate #waterconservation #climatechange

776 Likes, 23 Comments – Sanket Singh (@nazm_aise_bhi) on Instagram: “[19.04.19 – 3/3] _____ पाकीज़ा आँखों वाली, काले घने जुल्फों वाली, रूप संवारती, हर अदा पर इतराती…”

In conversation with Bhavika Joshi

We decided to sit under one of the dome-shaped pavilions. Bhavika shared what she felt during the session with the rural women water carriers, “It was new to me. Their problems are unsung in this era and it needs to be out there.”

“People residing in the urban area are misusing the facilities provided to us. Somehow, we are responsible for the problems they are facing.” With a determined expression on her face, she said, “I want to become their voice. Just like two sides of a coin, people will get to know about these two different worlds around us.”

There is a world, Completely different From mine. Which looks like The same, But there, things aren’t fine. Here when I was busy, Matching my eyeliner After Dancing in the shower. A girl there bunked the School again, To bring water from miles, With all her power. When I spoiled water Of my bottle throwing it On my friend, There she was, Tensed about the water That already came to an end. In my world, I am getting everything, Every privilege, But in her world, They don’t have water, And now it is seems like a cage. Slowly and slowly, Things there are Getting worst, And maybe for that We should blame Ourselves first. We are the one responsible, For their scarcity problems And their everyday struggle, Because we are the one who Waste it, ignoring the fact, That we are also going to be in trouble. But today, together Let’s take A pledge, Save water And free a village From its cage. . . . *A small poem that I wrote after hearing their story, maybe it is not that good but I tried expressing the fact that we are responsible too and we should look at this problem as well.* @indianwomenblog @maahirojofficial @anantaya_decor . Photos by- @pallavbhargava7 . . #maahiroj2019 #maahiroj #anantayadecor #water #waterscarcity #watersolutions #waterscarcityawareness #waterproblems #waterforall #water_of_our_world #save #saveearth #savethewater #savewatersavelife #saveavillage #savewater #indianvillage #india #poetryofinsta #poem #poetry #poemonwater #earth #earthproblems #earthhour #earthday #worldearthday

569 Likes, 33 Comments – Bhavika (muskan) Joshi (@silent_hug_by_words) on Instagram: “There is a world, Completely different From mine. Which looks like The same, But there, things…”

In conversation with Nimisha Verma

As the sun was setting down, I chipped into Nimisha’s solitude as she was looking at a woman nursing her child, “These women, damn, they are so strong. Despite the struggle and pain, they are smiling. Life is no doubt tough in this sandy terrain. But their refreshing sense of humour and a sense of calm make it appear bearable.”

She added, “Also, on the other hand, I believe that they are more empowered than us. If we keep belittling one another, we will be in this loop forever. They just need a direction. We all need to come together and include rural people into the conversation.”

Admiring the place, she said, “Being at this place feels like the history is speaking to you. Its value never decreases.”

“Words are powerful but their absence creates havoc. I feel really inspired after talking to Rashmi Ji. I want the world to wander their surroundings, but also to look inside. To know their roots,” she smiles.

” the only thing that bothers me in India is that people here don’t question enough. The amber fort is named after ambey mata ka mandir or after ambigesh I still don’t know. But I keep questioning and nobody has an answer based on a true evidence. This is not panna meena kund. I have proven research and evidences that the true name of this place is Panna miya kund. But does anyone care to question? If there is something that you really want to take away from me today then please I say be it ‘curiosity’ jigyasa. Please question more. ” Says Rashmi, a civil officer from England who moved to Jaipur some years ago to research more on the historical, heritage places here and because she fell in love with the city. Rashmi has done a remarkable job in reviving the dead historical buildings near panna Miya kund and has also adopted 14 government schools. The moto line of all the schools she says is only one thing ‘ Jigyasa’. Felt really inspired after meeting her and motivated to connect more with my roots. Photographer @pallavbhargava7 #MaahiRoj2019 #EarthDay #Women4Climate #WaterConservation #ClimateChange #planet #jaipur #art #culture #savewater #changemakers #rajasthan #environment #heritage #inspiration @indianwomenblog @anantaya_decor

1,597 Likes, 4 Comments – Nimisha verma (@nimishavermaa) on Instagram: “” the only thing that bothers me in India is that people here don’t question enough. The amber…”

MaahiRoj, literally translating into Earth Day Every Day, by AnanTaya, is an experience of unearthing the planet’s potential for sustainability in collaboration with like-minded designers and artisans from across the country. With a string of events that include interactive workshops, inspiring talks, films, heritage walks, water meditations, cultural tours, eco drives and the latest collection of sustainable arts, the festival this year is set to bring together experts from various fields who have considered the planet in their choices.

The 10-day festival, from April 19-29 (11am -10pm), will be held at AnanTaya, The Kanota Courtyard, Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Jaipur. Stay tuned for some more fun activities as we reach out to people to awaken their spirit of conservation.

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