Vivid Konkan - I
Konkan region is a narrow land almost about 100 Km, lies between Arab sea and mighty Sahyadri range or western ghats. A part of world receives heavy rainfall of about 1000 mm in only four months of the year - from June to August. Small river streams, often hardly 20 -50 m wide flows down east-wet and meets Arab sea. These streams carries mud in rainy season and seen red for most of time. After January or so, these rivers dries up and in some places causes scarcity of water. Inability to build the dams and geographical restrictions is the reason for a contradictory situation - drought situation in summer in heavy monsoon rainfall region.
These rivers are often crossed with narrow, old and un-maintained bridges. In some places these are concrete built with the aid of government. However, on small streams usually it is built by local person leaving in near by houses. The village I visited, Chafed in Ratnagiri, has banned selling and production of liquor in its territory. The drunkards now cross this particular bridge and drink alcohol in near by villages and come back home in late evening. These absolute drunk fellows manage to use this bridge without fail. Ramesh, local guy wandering with me, told that there had been no single accident of a drunkard as far s his memory goes. When these bridge collapses, it takes long to rebuilt the bridge because of red tapes.
Presence of a Banyan tree in village serves many roles - a bus-stop, a worship place, and even a landmark . Our ancestors recognized the importance of such trees and made sure to have them growing in the vicinity by hook or crook. In konkan, such vital trees are often related to religious practices and customs. We all know about Vat-pournima, a day where married Indian woman prays to god for long life to her husband. Almost all major trees have added advantage of being used as herbs. Banyan tree is an excellent indication of healthy eco-system present as this tree provides shelter to many life forms like birds.