Exploring the walled past of Apnu Amdavad with a pen and paper in tow
Proud-to-be-Amdavadi Maleka Rangwala captures each crevice and niche of the old city, mostly from Dhal Ni Pol, near Astodia Chakla.
By Team Amdavadism
She leaves us in awe as we try our best to describe the sheer finesse with which each sketch has been created. These sketches were done using a micron pen on printer paper and cartridge sheets.
Here we see a typical Kirana store scene, complete with a disgruntled owner, an old wise woman on a bench and two men talking. The old, walled city of Apnu Amdavad is a contrast to the new city that’s known for its spic and span environs, well laid out roads and dedicated bus lanes. The old city, is best explored on foot and gives a glimpse into Apnu Amdavad’s fortified past!
Here we see a typical gully to the center-left and the frontage of a house in the pol, complete with clothes hanging on wires, trash in the front and a cycle resting against it. Many pols are part of the cottage industry, so you will always find people sitting on the steps hand-sewing books, crimping silver chains together for traditional jewellery and otherwise engaged in various other crafts that allow people to add to their livelihood without leaving their homes, thus creating a vibrant community.
Here we see a house-front with a Laahri and a scooter parked outside it. The walled city was built before motor vehicles, designed for pedestrians and bicycles, thus its small winding gullies are best explored on foot.
Here we have a cow begging for food outside stairs leading to a pol. It works like this; cows are worshiped in India and feeding cows is often considered to be an act of holiness and generosity towards animals by most of the Indians. They are very useful for mankind giving us milk and various dairy-products, every organ in a cow is useful even after it dies. Thus in India, cows are considered to be greater than the actual mother who gave us birth and so we all feed them.
Here we see intricately carved wooden beams holding up jharokha, archetypal of pols! There are bird feeders in each pol known as Chabutro, tall poles that the people of apnu Amdavad put up for birds to replace the trees cut down when they built the city, and crevices they built into the walls for birds to use as houses, showing heartwarming concern for all living beings.
A huge thanks to Maleka Rangwala for sharing these amazing sketches with us! Follow her work on Instagram here.
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