Howsoever fascinating, integrated and diverse may have been the life of nomadic populations, changes were bound to come. The following stories illustrate the same.
By Prof. P.K. Misra
A group of nomads was being repeatedly asked to settle down by welfare agents. In that context, they related the following story. A Raja went to hunt in a forest. He lost his way and had to spend his night under a tree where Bulbuls nestled. The birds fought a lot in the night before they settled down which is their normal practice.
In the morning the bulbul were paragon of peace and sang beautifully. The Raja was so enchanted by the music that he forgot all his fatigue and when finally he returned to his palace he told his courtiers that he wanted that bulbul.
Finally that bulbul was brought. A golden cage was made for it and best possible food was offered. But the bulbul neither sang nor even looked at the food. Finally, the Raja ordered the bulbul to be returned to the forest where it began to sing again.
This story is the opposite. Two anthropologists from America decided to do the entire desert of South Arabia on camel back in order to experience the nomadic way of life of camel herders. They called on the authorities of South Arabia and expressed their desire. They were told that it was a crazy idea and discouraged them suggesting that they would help them to do the desert in the best of automobiles.
The anthropologists were not impressed by what the Sheiks told them and remained adamant. They were asked to wait while two camels were arranged. In the meanwhile in order to get acclimatised with desert conditions, the duo decided to camp in the desert waiting for their camels. One fine morning the two camels loaded in a Ford truck were delivered to them!