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September 19, 2017

Tharparker: a peek into the deserted jewel

Ahmed Mamoor Amimi loves Pakistan as much as other patriots do or perhaps more than others. He says Pakistan is his identity and wants others also to know the country. For this, he travels a lot and visits all places of the country just to introduce Pakistan's rich variety of colourful culture, folk music and local artists to the whole world. Wherever he goes he captures the scenic beauty of the place through his camera lense.

Recently he visited 'Thar' and he was mesmerised to see the place and summarised the entire beauty of the area in just one sentence: "Thar is the precious jewel in the crown of Pakistani culture". Amimi aspires to bring before the nation a wide stretched view of the actual Thar. He intends to capture pretty much every captivating mode of Tharparker. His emphasis specifically underlining folk music and personas. 

In an interview with Daily Jang, he speaks about Thar and all that it has to offer. However, rain is one natural phenomena the inhabitants long for. It downpours cheers and applause across the land of spirited culture. Unlike his expectations, he didn't catch any glimpse of  barren land or mountain. Globally being the only fertile desert, this gemstone turns to exhibit full-fledged foliage during the cloud bursting time of the year, popping up a harvesting era. The inhabitants reap vegetation, crop to stock annually every rare aspect -- the other being water.

Despite the weather largely being ruthless, he claimed, the inhabitants yet do not indulge in any misdemeanor. The crime rate here is zero, perhaps because the people here are simple, honest and healthy. Backing up to his core interests, his quest for talent is never unanswered in Thar.

" I am very passionate about seeking talent. Wherever I visit, I always seek out a range of artists, whether it is a musician, a performer, or a storyteller. In Thar also,  I came across three local singers at the Umar Marvi Museum", he added.

" The museum is based on the tale of Umar Marvi - the most popular of the folk love stories of Sindh. The tale of the lovers, wherein the two flee on claim of love. The love story then took a spin as the two turned out to be step siblings, being unaware of their earlier family ties. However, the story doesn't hold any evidence," he said.

"The museum also exhibits sculptures of the popular story idol. You come across folk singers there, who live an easy profession chanting local songs. One of them was Faqeera, whom I met right on my visit to a temple in Nagarparkar. I crossed paths with him there, instantly drawing me to the aromatic melody. I even made a video of him. The tune really captured my attention as if bringing me to life."  In his opinion, the grace of the temple is as appealing as the engaging music.

Amimi told that residing in the dynasty of Thar, Islamkot is an ideal location for the tours, with hotels, hospitals and a range of necessities. The roads, too, are in a sound condition due to the Thar Coal Project being around the Islamkot town. "We explored Nagarparkar, Tharkaparkar, Mithi and Islamkot. This region has gained quite prominence due to its neighboring locality with India borders," he added.

He maintained that the Sindh Government has formed an organization like STDC. It made huts just like jhuggis in Thar and  Kot, entailed on reservation booking. We stayed in one of the hut-like motels.

With strong culture, the terrain also calls for common rituals. Popular temple in Baluchistan, Binglaj, is a sacred entity for Hindus in the region. Beholding a sacred telling, the temple is named after a Goddess. Various other temples were built on the land. These temples assemble large gatherings for their religious significance.

A local ride 'Kekra' is quite common within the region. This is a huge truck decorated with various designs and flowers. This truck is very suitable ride for sandy routes due to which this is called 'camel of Thar' whereas the camel is known as 'ship of the desert'. However, with the passage of time, the use of kekra has been reduced and jeep is being used instead.

Surprisingly, the territory residing with Pakistan is full-fledged with greenery while there is a waterlogged land on the other side of the border, which is Indian area of Rann of Kutch. We also visited Umarkot and Khipro which are in Thar.

A big issue of Thar is however its barren land with salinity and cultivation faults. However, amid all the chaos and blessings, the people in Thar are living a peaceful and happy life. Mamoor thinks it is just their simplicity. Thar has yet, summed up a joyous life for its inhabitants.