I would like to tell you the story of the journey of a medical student that starts in the ancient Indus Valley, and on the way she creates new lifelines and new lifestyles.
I was sure I would feel the effects of being roughly jostled and flung about later on, but I ignored my discomfort because, as I looked out the window, I was fascinated by the changing and very varied landscape – scorching deserts in a dusty, shimmering haze, and then tantalizing mirages in the horizon followed by oases with fruit-laden date and coconut palms. Alternatively, we would burst upon green banana plantations or lush mango orchards. Then again, we would come upon the seemingly endless mustard fields whose yellow foliage was nearly as breathtaking as Wordsworth’s daffodils. I was pleasantly surprised at the varied and bountiful areas we were passing through. Indubitably, this area was heaven’s fruit basket, but with the weather from hell.
Passing through yet another change in the landscape, I noticed, to my delight, that the workers in the fields were predominantly women. The traditional clothes they wore would give the peacocks languishing in the shade competition.
“Baba, aren’t these women beautiful?” I raved. “I can just imagine what a colorful calendar could be created if one just took their time to capture the colors and the culture.”
My father smiled at my interest and said, “Did you know that in many Sindhi tribes married women had to wear ivory-colored bangles that covered their arms? Your great grandmother used to wear them. She told me that an ideal set would have included seventeen bangles worn on the upper arm and nine on the lower arm; a total of fifty-two bangles on each arm.” My great grandmother?
I listened with interest. “They were never removed, not even during sleep, and were worn during a woman’s entire married life,” my father continued. “It is said that they have magical properties that protects the wearer against the evil eye and supposedly ease birth pains. Obviously, due to the preservation of elephants, and after outlawing the sale of ivory, the expensive bangles of yore have been replaced with cheap plastic ones.”
Would you like to know more? Then keep visiting this site.
My book “LIFELINES” is soon to be published. I assure you that the adventures of Dr. SARAH and Inspector TANYA will be mind boggling!