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Thangam of Mehargarh by: Geeta Dharmarajan | Illustration: Mrinalini Sardar

“The caravans are here!” The cry ran, as if it were the scent of spices, through the busy streets of my city.

Turquoise from Persia. Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan. Delicate shells which still carry the distant sea within them ‌

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In the main market, next to where my uncle has his ceramic workshop, the caravans rest.

The camels are being unyoked.


lo o k


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tr a de rs

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Me na nd

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Beyond the market, I see, through wisps of cow dung smoke, sheep grazing on green hills.

I drop the seal I am working on, on to the deer skin at my feet. As I rush out my mother calls.

“Did you feed the goat and the cows, Thangam?”

“Yes!� I shout back as I run out. We all have too many animals in Mehargarh!

I dash through the streets of Mehargarh. There is Kullan Mama turning his potter’s wheel, his hands caked with mud upto his elbows.

“I have done it, Thangam!” he shouts above the other loud voices. No one makes better pots!”

He has created a new kind of ceramic. Thin, thinner than an egg shell! How nice it feels...

‌ Finally when I reach the caravans, most of the goods had been unloaded.

My father is there. The best lapis lazuli I have seen!

...he whispers to me, so the trader will not hear and raise the price.

He turns to the merchant. “These stones. How would you like it if I made them in to jewellery for you to take back when you return?�

The trader looks at my father with shrewd eyes.

What kind of a hole do you make?

“The best,� says my father.

My father could afford to be proud. He had made something new. Something called a drill. It is made of green jasper and moves by means of a bow.

Carefully, the trader looked at my father’s cornelian bead necklace. Half an hour later, he weighed the stones for my father and me.

That night, I lay under the stars. Thinking about becoming a traveller.

Travelling by night ‌ guided by the stars. What fun!

Maybe I will go in a ship across large sheets of water ‌

Imagine! In the place where you are sitting reading this story, someone might have sat six thousand years ago!

Maybe a dreamy little girl like Thangam!

“There were people living in India six thousand years ago. Mehargarh was one of the first cities of the great Indus Valley Civilization.

Mohenjo-Daro rose many years later. So did places like Harappa and Lothal.

Activity Sheet Cut out these exciting stickers to make your own story about Thangam or simply stick them!

Acknowledgement Paper cut illustrations for this publication would not have been possible without the hard work and patience of many people of extra ordinary talent here at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and also at Katha, New Delhi. A warm thank you to my guide Tarun Deep Girdher for allowing me to take this project as a live project, as it made it to the final stage of the Chitrakatha competition for children book illustrations. Thank You to Sakshi Jain and Mamta Nainy for having trust and faith in me for completing the project. Special thanks to my friend Ruchita Atalkar for helping me immensely during the shoots that required dark rooms, no fans, warm light boxes, and a lot of patience for long continuous hours. A warm thank you to Poshika Singh for her lights, connectors and music. Also, a big thank you to all my graphic design batchmates for their invaluable feedback and the help showered on me. I specially want to thank the following people for all their help and support: Lalith Prasad Abhisek Behera Akash Raj Halankar Deeksha Kumar Sujata Shidhaye Ankita Sood Asmina Soni Bhai NID Print Labs Ma, Baba and Dada. Printed and Published at: Siddhi Printers, Ahmedabad. Type set in Baskerville Regular 13pt Book Size (open): 22 inches x 8.5 inches ; (closed): 11 inches x 8.5 inches Paper: Inner Sun S067 90 gsm All Rights Reserved. c 2011.

Thangam of Mehargarh  

Paper cut illustrations to depict the story Thangam of Mehargarh written by Geeta Dharmarajan done in association with Katha, Delhi.

Thangam of Mehargarh  

Paper cut illustrations to depict the story Thangam of Mehargarh written by Geeta Dharmarajan done in association with Katha, Delhi.