Amidst all the tough life they live, all the adversities they face, one thing stays unchanged
– the eternal love bond between the sheep and the shepherds.
They travel all the time.
They march their sheep from one end of the world to another.
They follow the seasons.
And they make their home wherever they stop.
Sheep is their lifeline. They breed them, nurture them and protect them.
The sheep, in turn, bring them means to life.
They are shepherds.
There are different types of shepherds. Some rear the sheep, some sell the wool, some sell the meat.
The sheep rearing ones are called the Hatkars, wool making ones are called the Khutekars and meat selling ones are called the Khatiks.
For all the three, travelling on foot with their herds is essence of life.
The men protect the sheep and the family folk.
The women take care of home making and camp moving.
It’s a tough life. Walk for days under hot Sun, make small quick settlement for a couple of days, rest, feed the sheep and watch over them.
Once again wrap up the settlement and load onto horses
and life moves on to another destination…
Keen, watchful eyes of the shepherd
Lifeline of a shepherd’s life
Look at any shepherd and you will notice his keen eyes.
Eyes that can see miles and that can sense danger of wilderness.
Shepherds are all the time watching over their sheep, to protect them from wild dogs, foxes or any other predator.
During the travel, they settle down for a few days if they find a place that feels safe enough and there is enough food for the sheep.
Ladies of the tribe work to feed the men and children.
It’s a compact home with an outdoor kitchen!
The appetizing smell of “Bhakri“, a type of Indian bread spreads and fills the surroundings.
Expert hands of the lady of the house shapes and roasts large size, perfectly rounded bhakris with mechanical perfection!
Goat milk is abundant, and a great drink to the day…
The modest, portable settlement
Writing about shepherds is easy. Walking with them for even some time is arduous.
Amidst all the tough life they live, all the adversities they face, one thing stays unchanged – the eternal love bond between the sheep and the shepherds.
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