A view of the part of the work spot
Our day began at 5.30 A.M, walking for about 8-10 Km by traversing two hills separated by valley in between. After a while, departing from the common traverse, We used to get divided in small groups. Each group consisted two tribals for digging work as well as guiding us the path to return to base camp. A pit for geochemical sampling at hill top.
A pit sampling begining
Smith suggested that everyday after completing the work in first hill we meet at a common point, the small fountain flowing in the valley, for a break. During work let us avoid talking as far as possible and use more signals. But at this common meeting point we discuss not only the work but also some recreation along with some food. The next discussion should be after climbing the second hill and meeting at the camp. This made our entire work lively and less tiring.
A Hill fountain in Valley Common meeting point after part I work
This being his fourth visit to India, Smith was little fluent in Hindi and soon became close to the entire team including the tribals. He had genuine interest in our social systems and culture and a part of our discussions consisted to answering his queries. In one such session he asked one unmarried tribal about his plans to get married. He answered " It is difficult to get married in our society." Smith said " if you pardon me please tell us the hurdles." A senior tribal accompanying us told " The boy and girl meet each other in Carnivals held during the festivals. If they like each other, the community chief calls them and confirms the mutual consent. Following this, the boy have to pass a test. He has to lasso a running bull or Buffalo before it crosses the village boundary and then garland it. This is part I. The part II is the boy's family shall take this animal but shall compensate the village chief with two such equally good animals and feed the whole village. Many are able to pass through part I but fails in part II for poverty. As a result few in a family are able to marry. Smith was seriously noting the narration in his pad.
Back in the camp Smith was assured by us that this procedure was limited to tribal of this area. I told him that Tribal from other part of India may have other methods.
Following our common dinner he asked "Tell me , How, you, the non-tribal get married." The geostatistian of our group told " There are two modes. In the universal mode they meet each other, fall in love and decide to marry by conventional method with the approval of Parents or just simply they marry through a Marriage officer with or without the approval of parents. In Mode II, The parents or elders, mostly from the girls family, approach a suitable groom's family either from known circles or matrimonial advertisements. The groom's family who continually receive such proposals further shortlist the possible brides keeping in view the criteria the family fix up in which the groom may have some say. Following this the elders of the groom's family further interview the bride and bride's family and further shortlist the possible candidates. Now the bride and the groom meet each other and let the parent's know their choice who upon further discussions fix up a date of marriage. But there are also several derivatives of Mode I and II and Mixed modes also." Smith noting down seriously said appreciatively " My heart is filed up with great respect. But tell me what is the frequency of Mode I and Mode II ?" None of us in the group which is a mini-India have ever thought on this so seriously. But we discussed among ourselves counting the no. of marriages we happen to know. The total no. of marriages that took place in the known circles including their own are more than 200 and more than 70% marriages fall in "mode II." The next day being week end and we all shared our story books and movie Cd's. Smith took a no. of Novels(Hindi and translated into Hindi) and Indian Movie CD's with subtitles.
Work proceeded rapidly in the following week and we completed the work including packing, processing and elementary analysis at our mini lab in the camp one day before schedule. At the end of the camp fire, Smith returned all the novels and Books and said " If all of you are not going to be busy with packing's may I have a few minutes with all of you." We all nodded affirmative. Looking at our anxious faces he said " It is nothing technical. I am referring to our discussions of the last week about your social systems of marriage. I have gone through all these novels and seen all these movie Cd's. The novels are from well known novelist as you say and some of the movie CD's are the work of international reputed directors. They well represent your social systems from age-old times to recent and from many states of your country. In all these, the marriages took place mostly through Mode I. Your opinion poles are also from several states and varied age group and this sampling is also quite representative. The opinion poles that you gave me say that marriages are mostly through Mode II. I am in a dilemma and confused. Why your opinion poles are different from the Novels and movies dealing with your social systems." Looking at our silent faces with wrinkles in foreheads he said " You may take your time and may e-mail me later on. Good night folks."
Dr. J.J. smith sent his report on the geochemical finding but we could not reply him on his last personal query and are still trying to find out an answer. Do you have an answer to his quarry?