Friday, May 30, 2008


It was my 25th Birthday and I couldnt have chosen a better way to celebrate it.

I got a chance to visit the place whose name my family has been carrying for decades now. Kinhal, is a small village, about 12 km west of Koppal town. It belonged to Raichur district before Koppal itself was given the district status. I always had the doubt about how my surname is spelt but it was all clear when I saw the board of India Post there.

Being home for few thousands of people, Kinhal is a typical rural India with agriculture being the main source of income. But the place also is popular for its wooden toys, call it "Kinhal toys".
The artisans have inherited the art of making very beautiful wood work with intricate chiseling and magnificent coloring. Popular objects are the puranic figures such as Ganesha, Garuda, Gowri, people depicting various occupation and also animals and birds.

It was a Sunday and there was Santhe (Fair) happening in the village where typically, all the
farmers sell their produce who are otherwise with their work on other six days.It was very interesting to see people participating so eagerly in the fair, with packed street, the Brigade road of Kinhal.

Brigade road of Kinhal, the Santhe street.
My dad and my uncles were eager to show me the place where my Great Grand Dad lived. We were four, and the Great Venkatesh Achar was the common node for all four of us in the family tree.
We were very lucky to bump into Hanumesh(in pic), a lanky young man, who happened to be living just beside the point of interest. I was amazed to see that he was quick to respond, when we asked about the Great's place considering he was young and would never have seen anyone who lived there. Only later I realised that I would have got the place if I had asked anyone in that small village. People are so closely knit.

Reaching the place, I felt I have reached some archaeological site and I have to start my work of excavating the Harappan civilization!! A small piece of land with only one evidence of life, that being a neem tree! Otherwise it was all the rubbles to be likened to some World War II remains. My dad could recall some stories about the place that his dad had told him.
A strange nostalgia going back to the world of memories and imagination for him.

The context of our visit was an idea of our enterprising uncles to set up a School in Kinhal. Lack of quality education and educational institutions in all parts of India is a very common disease plaguing us ever since. Government schools don't have the focus and infrastructure to provide what the contemporary student needs. Quality private institutions don't have the intention and motivation to set up branches in rural India. The main aim is to bridge the gap. We were here to do some ground work on the requirements, availability and feasibility of setting up a School for the children of Kinhal and some places around it. The plan and the talks are in progress and will write about it at a suitable time.

Kinhal, the village: Just moving around the village, it was easy to notice some very interesting hoardings and wall writings which emphasized education and other social issues.
A strange architectural feature of that civilization was the narrow gutters running all along between two
lanes of houses seperated by a hand-shake distance.
Best moment of the visit was to see local boys jump into the well to fight the aggressive sun. Just a 10 minutes of swim in the well, the boys came out, took off their "swimming robe" dried it in few seconds and wore it again and were off for other games. What fun!!
We spent some time in the Santhe where my uncle wanted some local cucumber. This turned out to be a very eventful bargain with the cucumber vendor, an old female who startled us with her innocence and may be ignorance. In the course of the bargain, which was the best we could have being from Bangalore, we still could not lay low the habit of bargaining for a few extra cucumbers. She obliged and then, some other vendors beside her wanted their share of entertainment. They saw me wearing my Sony DSC H7 digicam, which for them might be a futuristic gadget, and began frightening the ajji that we are from press and we will bring policemen to the place. We smiled, only to soon realize that the old lady had bought the story and was so much petrified and on the verge of a breakdown, that she started filling our bag with more cucumbers and also returning our money! If a villager in India can be exploited with such small pretexts, then the bridge we are set out to build has to be longer than we can imagine.

So, that was my first visit to Kinhal and looking forward to a few more.


ಸರ್ವೋತ್ತಮ ಕಿನ್ನಾಳ್ said...

Mr Badrivishal,


My e mail:

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