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Chambal ravines where life is full of hardship but there are interesting moments too

By Deepanwita Gita Niyogi 
The Chambal landscape spanning Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh is dotted with ravines and dry scrub vegetation for miles. Life is full of hardship in this region but there are interesting moments too.
As the car sped on leaving the main city of Dhaulpur district behind, the landscape began to change. After an hour or so, the undulating ravines started to appear covered here and there with thorny stunted trees. In many places goat herds were spotted, the animals being an asset in a harsh environment. Many herders keep goats for livelihood.
 What can one expect in a semi-arid landscape? Bajra or peal millet is the dominant crop in Chambal region of Dhaulpur. The crop is sown in the Kharif season and requires minimal water to grow. It is suitable for a harsh and dry climate. Seen here is the process of roasting pearl millet.
Gathering dry sticks for roasting pearl millet is not much difficult. The sticks are gathered close by near bajra fields.
Bajra is an important crop in entire Dhaulpur and not only in the Chambal villages.
Apart from goats, most families keep buffaloes for milk which they consume as well as sell when in excess. Here a young girl checks the ears of a baby buffalo.
A special bond with the month-old buffalo shows the deep bond people have with their animals in this landscape. The animals are taken good care of as they are a source of income.
During noon, the heat is too much to bear.
Rotis made of wheat are preferred for lunch except in winters. Here a woman of the Meena community makes rotis at the traditional chulha with the help of firewood. Many families lack gas connections for cooking.
A brief stroll post lunch to the Chambal river which flows through the landscape. This time the river flooded and inundated several villages along its banks.
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All pix by the author

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