Hello, its me Harvey

enjoying myself

Hello everybody,  I went to the vet to have my blood checked , liver not a 100%  but she said not to worry, and I will be fine.  But I did have to have some drops in my ears, so I decided that I didn’t feel like having that done and I went under her desk so she would not see me.  Funny thing  was  she did see me and got on her hands and knees and came under the table to put sticky stuff in my ears. What a shock!

I pretended I was shy and let her put the drops in.  On the way out she gave me a chew or two or three, but grabbed them on the run as I was going to stay there a moment longer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was also told that I must not eat the cat biscuit’s.  You can imagine what a blow that was, makes my day to fillup on them to say nothing of what it does to the cats!!

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Tale of a turban

resting turbans

The turbans of Rural Rajasthan are the most colourful and impressive in the whole of India. The use of turbans was basically started by the Rajput community, who reside in Rajasthan and wear distinct turbans.

 In the Hindi language, turban is known as Paag, Safa or Pagri. It is also said that the style of the turban changes with every 15 km you travel within the geographical boundaries of Rajasthan. In some parts of the region, the size of turban indicate the position of the person in the society they live. 

 The Maharajas of Rajasthan were also known for their colourful traditional costumes and grand turbans. The turbans are worn as a long scarf wrapped around the head of men, as a sign of identification and social prestige. Each colour of the turban has its own importance and significance. Ochre is the colour of the mendicant, while the saffron is commonly worn at the time of weddings. In the medieval past, the saffron colour also denoted valour and chivalry. A turban is usually 82 feet long and 8 inches wide and achieving different styles with this unstitched cloth, requires great skill.

 

Rajasthani turban

Skilled maidens in turban tying, were employed by the royal courts, but Rajasthanis generally take pride in practicing and perfecting the art of turban-tying themselves. When the rulers were besieged by an enemy, and food and water supplies were scarce, desperate warriors wearing saffron turbans would sneak out of their citadels to lead  a sudden surprise

rabari shepherd

Seeing is believing

seeing is believing

 
You have to see it for yourself,  the real India untouched by mass tourism, why not join a tour and enjoy the holiday of a life time.
 
A must for photographers, digital tuition included during the tour.
Find out more www.tigertravel.co.uk

Women sharing experiences.

rabari woman

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The word “Rabari” basically means the “outsiders”. This is because of their trade and what they used to do in times past. The Rabari’s main business used to be raising cattle, camels and goats; for some traditional-minded families this is still the case now but the new generation is slowly moving away from this way of  life. The  animals need lots of space for grazing and pasturing.

Due to this reason, the Rabari couldn’t live in town houses and have room for their animals also. They started living on the outskirts of towns and beyond for this necessity. This community was given a name by the general populace -“Dhani“. Dhani means the Basti-community. As they were outside the main community, so the name became Rabari for these wandering and herding people. In actual fact Rabari are hun rajput. They invaded on india in 507 AD. and ruled from 509 to 511AD. and their king was Mihrikula who was leader of hun rajput. If we go to the early history their head was ATTILLA THE HUN.  Attilla the hun was born in southern part of Russia.

Rabari people living and working in the same way as they have done for generations can be found now in small villages that are not easy to find. I have worked and spent a lot of time with the Rabari over a number of years, gaining their trust, and sharing small parts of their life and mine, as much as I could, with the restrictions of language.

Rabari women are full of curiosity when it comes to other women, a study of your ear rings, a quick check for tattoos, and confirmation that you have children will almost ensure that the kettle or tin will be put on for chai. The chai will usually arrive on a saucer with a genuine crack on the side , but don’t worry about that,  just turn the saucer around, sit down and watch the buffalo in the yard.  Once the formalities are over you maybe in luck and she will share a huge bundle of embroideries with you. Taking photos is another thing. For me there isn’t a problem and after I have had several saucer’s of tea we can then talk about my ‘friends’ taking photos.  This the way it works and they look forward  excitedly  to my arrival with new women on my tours.

Tattoos and silver are very important in their life, all tattoos have a significant meaning and silver jewellery is a sign of wealth.

tattoos ^ silver

Crumble court yard

Site manager
 
It’s all very well having a project manager and it sounds very good on the television,  in practice I am not convinced about their abilities.
 
What ever made me agree to repairing the court-yard I will never know, but how could I go wrong with my own project manager being around.
 
Work always started early morning because of the heat, and that was a mistake I don’t do early mornings. First of all there was the searching in the local diy warehouse for cement of course it was all in Spanish, that didn’t help, but by the time I found the cement I realised it was called cement. Strange,  having taken great care to collect a strange looking trolley , of course the bag couldn’t be lifted on to it, well I couldn’t lift it on! with a helping hand from Elaine and a big smile . I checked out, and as I did I asked if someone would put it into the car,  job done.
 
Being what would be classed by a builder as a small job the mixing had to be done by hand in a large round bucket, used a lot in Spain, have you any idea how hard this was, my arm was being wrenched out of its socket with every turn of the trowel.  Sweat was rolling down my face and my knees had locked under the strain of kneeling.  Then came the time to clear the walls of plaster, simple I thought a small tap here and there and it would crumble away. What I didnt know about was the dust , sand and bricks that would follow.  My heart sank as my eye lids stuck together with dust, there was no sign of the project manager and no wonder after hearing his bowl being filled with biscuites.
 
The cement mixing never ended, and everytime I put it on the wall it fell off!  soon sorted that out, I had forgotten to water the wall first.  At the end of the day I was so glad to go to my bed!  However the court yard is looking much better with a new top on the pergola, in a bright yellow although the tin said mustard, we can all enjoy our coffee in peace and tranquilty as we admire the plants.
 
 
 

yellow or mustard

 
 

coffee in peace

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

a corner of peace

 
 
Everyone at Casa Mulo is given a special place!!!
 

do not disturb

Block printing with love

On any tour to India block printing is always a must, the women love to share the experience with any of the artisans,  of course block printing sessions can be put together in any large store to meet the demands of tourism, but this is not what Tiger Travel is about. It is about supporting and keeping traditions alive.

Small villages dotted around the desert have been block printing for generations, obtaining their own dyes from plants,metal wood and a host of other things, block prints are carved by hand and kept within a family for years, yes designs have changed but many indians still prefer the old designs, and what a collectionof  blocks to be seen ,often stacked in neat piles for 50 or more years at the back of workshops. These workshops are a place of treasures.

block printed cloth

Treasures will always be in the eye of the beholder, sometimes its the layers of dye fading away on the wall, cotton covers on the block printing tables that have been stained over the years with different colours, in spite of regular washing,  photographs taken of hands that have seen so many years of hard work. This is the real India. Take a look at some photos taken on tour

cotton ready to be dyed

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Art of Block Printing

The beautiful art of block Printing employs wooden or metal blocks to print designs and patterns on fabric, by hand. What makes block Printing unique is that the design has to be created by the artist before the Printing begins. It is carved onto the block by hand. The colors used are normally vegetable dyes. Mineral and non-toxic chemical dyes are also used. The carved block is dipped into the required color, and then it is used to design the fabric

design ready to be cut

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
block printing

Rajasthan has a long and distinguished traditon of printing with finely carved wooden blocks. The secret is finding the villages.  This method, though labourious, is actually quite simple and merely calls for precision. The cloth is laid out flat on a table or bench and a freshly dipped block is handpressed on to the fabric to form a continuous, interlocking pattern. The block carries dye if the original colour of the cloth has to be preserved.

If the cloth has to be dyed, the block is used to apply an impermeable resist – a material such as clay, resin or wax – to demarcate the pattern that is not to be coloured. Later, when the cloth is dyed, the pattern emerges in reverse. Traditonally, block-printing relied on the use of natural dyes and pigments, but now synthetic dyes have gained currency as they are cheaper. If you belong to the green brigade, stick to eco-friendly naturally dyed cloth.

The floral motifs favoured by the printers of Bagru and Sanganer are Persian in origin, though Sanganeri designs are more sophisticated. They usually have a white or pale background decorated with colorful twigs or sprays.

dyeing workshop

Primitive looking workshop, yes, but after all this is the Real India as seen by Tiger Travel, when you want more from a holiday than just knowing you have beena there!

 

A message from Harvey

R&R in my armchair

Thank you everyone who telephoned and sent e mails asking about my health it was very kind of you. I was justwalking home in the week after spending a lovely day with my friends at the finca when everything went horribly wrong.  We had  been having so much fun, my owner was taking photos, very important photos, and guess what we all managed to get in them! 

Missy

Just look,  Missy was on look out  duty  by the door,  while I had a quick try on the arm-chair, scrummy all soft and smooth and I could see the mountains through the window. Rocket only has little legs so he had to take frequent snoozing sessions.

On my walk back to the casa I ate something that turned out to be poison, 15 minutes later I was twirling around and shaking, my eyes were blood shot and I was very frightened. Thank goodness my owners knew what to do, they put me in the car and set off to the vets at an alarming speed  time was very important  because 30 minutes is all you have to reverse the poison.  Normally I like the car and can watch out of the window and see the mountains and the lake, but I couldn’t even hold my head up let alone sit up.  The road whizzed by and every swerve sent me to the next planet.  The car pulled up practically in the middle of the road and I was whisked out and met by the vet,  who quickly put on a metal table, while he put a drip in my leg.

The room was still spinning around and my legs had turned to jelly, I was very frightened but couldn’t do anything about it, but plenty of cuddles came my way and I felt tear drops falling on my nose, but not from my eyes, they were too blood shot.  I knew it was serious, and I wanted to be at home in my favourite chair with the cat’s and wishing the pain would stop.  One more phone call and the vet carried me to the car holding the drip in his mouth. We were going to the hospital in Granada  and I had to stay in. The tears I felt running down my nose this time were mine as I saw my owners leaving.  The drip stayed in for 24 hours and later the following day I was collected, what a relief.  I went to the vets office to say goodbye and unfortunately all the fluid that went in  during the night  came out with such a whoosh I couldn’t stop  it, we were marooned on an island while the urine swept past my paws and under the door.

Back in the car I experienced Granada city at night, lights flashing, people walking around talking, motor bikes weaving around and traffic lights that couldn’t make up their mind whether they wanted to be red or green.

The city life is not for me and that’s why I am taking it easy in my arm-chair.

Rocket

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