Once Upon A Time
Baramati, Imagine a town which I know so much, but never felt like I belong here. I was told to be born somewhere and said to be from somewhere and stayed somewhere else.
Once upon a time there was a boy.
But ever since the boy survived, he barely lived.
As the boy to be lived was longing for belonging.
As a visitor… guest on a quest.
A Pinch of Salt.
Writing biographical content was never an aim for me to start this section. I wanted to address the underrated online presence of Baramati. But when I began to think upon this town, as I visited after the demise of my childhood friend Vishal; I walked the street of this town in flashback.
Like any other town some people are “from here” and “came here”. I was one who came here. So where was I before?
Visiting the past has always been painful for me. But what if I went back consciously and revisited the moments and find out what happened in this town that shaped me to be what I am today. What if I am present in “NOW” and look at the past like a stranger, watcher watching the watcher. Roaming the jungles, staying in now and peeping in the past gave a shift in perception about what has happened in life so far. All the suffering, all the adversities somehow make sense. Amazingly, It was an invitation, to see out of the broken traditional windows and search for alternative avenues. A story of immense beauty unfolded. Like Leela, drama as we call it in pop culture. There is a mysterious beauty to what I have found. And if there is anybody who can tell your story conclusively, is you!
Hence I am telling mine… This is my life story… mostly…
The Boy That Survived The Knock Of Creativity.
As I was told to be born in Koregaon, Satara. Conversely, a place in the middle of nowhere.
It is for sure an unusual phenomenon. I am Irish twin to my sister, born in the same year; 11 months before me.
There was a knock of creativity in the middle of nowhere. Conversely, Creativity occurs neither less of any external circumstances. It was midnight, just after the riots had settled down in India. It was the night of Curfew on 26th of February 1986 in Koregaon, Satara.
India was burning from her past sufferings. As she always has since the inception of time and mind and ego. There were no medical facilities as we know of today. Ambulances and doctors on duty 24×7 etc. My mother’s bed had to be lifted and kept in a goods carrier, hence she could be taken to the hospital in the town nearby. My parents use to stay far from the town. The government posted my father as an engineer on a water canal site.
Among the other seven girls born that day I was one of the fortunate to reach on time in the hospital. Others were mostly born on the way, as many of them came walking or in a bullock cart.
It is not that I am the only one who is born in the middle of chaos. Certainly, the world has always been in a turmoil, and everyone is in the middle of it. We decide if, to be part of it or not.
The Town: Baramati Happened.
I was raised in Baramati, did most of the schooling here.
I came to this town as a 2-year-old kid from Kolhapur, Maharashtra. Even before I was aware of what is it to be aware, my natural sources to this world, my parents brought me to this place. My father was as sectional engineers for maintenance project of Nira Canal under irrigation department.
When we came to Baramati, all we could see was the Babul Jungle spread across the horizon of Baramati. Eventually, the Thorn has a reputation of “Yedi Babal” in the local language the crazy Thorn. The babul so much dominated the town that every 90’s kid has stories to tell about the pricked Thorn in the foot. As Slippers, the rubber flip flops were a luxury item. Not that I didn’t have them, I just never bothered to wear. Anyways I use to lose them in sand piles.
Afternoons felt like the faceless masks, as the strong, dusty, hot and dry summer winds played whistling roaring songs in these Jungles. Silence interrupted by the winds was deepening of it. Reminded more of the shush!!! It was common for lads to sit in shadows and talk about thorn pain. The babul thorn itself is used to pinch out the prickled one. Similarly, Baramati has also found its way to use its weaknesses for the disparity.
Said to be from Kolhapur City?
I was constantly told, “you are from Kolhapur”. City where they named me Satyajeet, May the truth triumph! The city that has eco of my grandmother’s stories of “India before partition”. Kolhapur is the city where I would spend afternoons listening to her memories of a dollhouse and her life in Karachi. And the town where My grandfather proudly told how he fought for freedom and contributed to the independence, where he died as a 90-year-old man. As a result, both of my grandparents were Avante readers. I picked up the addiction to read from there. I had also done a year of schooling here.
Kolhapur is full artists and historical sites. Indeed, It has always fascinated me in that sense. I never run out of a friend, or an enthusiast if you like; with whom I can discuss films, painters, books, culture, politics (sometimes only in the context of art). And yes how can we forget Theatre and the Lavani in Tamasha.
Having said that, when someone asks me where I come from, I tell them I am from Kolhapur. I have decided to stick to that. It doesn’t matter anyway. It is the forest anywhere I feel I belong to, the sanctuary of wisdom.
Bhimthadi to Baramati – The About Thing
Like me, Baramati also has a history. So does the name of the town too. Not to mention the name does matters for namesake after all.
Once upon a time, there was a province on the banks of might Bhima river called Bhimthadi. The name Bheemthadi means the region that is on the bank of river Bhima. The area also happened to find inspiration in the name of King Bheemak of Vidarbha Desh. The father of one of the famous character from Mahabharata – Damayanti. The incredible love story of this nation that appears in Vana Parva. Norman Mosley Penzer translated it to English. Subsequently, Faizi found the inspiration in the passionate love tale in regards to Sufism and Bhakti. He had presented his work to Akbar of Agra.
Bhimthadi was famous for Chinkaras, the gazelles that roam these ochre landscapes.
After the king Bheemak, The province has been part of the reign of many emperors and influenced Yadavs, Bahamian sovereign, Adil Shah, Nizam, Mughals, Shahaji, until it was part of Maratha Empire established by His Highness Shivaji Maharaja. It was then under control of Shahuji Maharaji of Satara, Son of Shivaji Maharaj.
Agricultural Trust of Baramati, organises a fair each year, which bears the old name of this town as Bhimthadi Jatra.
Like river Bheema brought soil from twelve provinces to this town. Legend says that twelve of the Barter traders came to the city. And Bheemthadi became Baramati, which roughly translates to the one form twelve soils or ideas.
Baramati is now part of Pune District located at 18.15°N 74.58°E. It has an average elevation of 538 meters (1765 feet)
Something magical happened in the near past. Baramati has become a role model for any town that strives to develop. Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without the never-ending efforts of Hon. Sharadchandraji Pawar Saheb. Moreover, He is the visionary, who painted a dream of modern Baramati and persistently worked towards making it a reality.