|About the Book|
If Rajasthan has always offered a very different picture from the classical one of a desert the explanation lies in theway it manages the water it receives so parsimoniously , one can say , drop by drop. Anupam Mishra’s book tells us how , down theMoreIf Rajasthan has always offered a very different picture from the classical one of a desert the explanation lies in theway it manages the water it receives so parsimoniously , one can say , drop by drop. Anupam Mishra’s book tells us how , down the centuries, the ingenuity and patience of people made it possible for life to be maintained in the desert, by applying their technical knowledge to collect each and every drop. The drops become all the more precious given their scarcity , as suggested by the very title Rajasthan Ki Rajat Boonden, The Radiant Raindrops of Rajasthan. Rajat in Hindi means silver but it also means ivory- it therefore has the connotation of luminous whiteness, radiance and value.It is to each precious drop that the local society dedicated its effort, its love, its intelligence, in fact all possible human means, so as to obtain the optimal advantages. The local society does not however, view itself as the sole agent in this endeavour of the desert’s humanisation. More specifically at the very start, it acknowledges a partnership- human intervention is always associated to supernatural forces with all the concomitant ethics deriving from such an interaction.In fact the founding myth of the practice of water harvesting in Rajasthan grounds human action in that regard on a divine gift as is illustrated by the story of Rishi Uttung in Chapter one.But as Anupam Mishra explains with so much sensitivity and discernment, the people of Rajasthan did not wait formanna to drop from heaven. Instead, they evolved a wholeriti or voj around their shram in the field of water conservation. A Riti established on a deep partnership between nature (the environment), human action and its ethical as well as religious framework.