As an young student of IX standard in Satara and visiting
Pusegaon on the week ends I had watched on three/four occasions the young students
from U.K. for a short while. I was too shy and young (13 years) to have any interface
with them and observed them taking a photograph or two and once had read the map
on the hood of their vehicle showing the road from Bristol, UK to Maharashtra
and Pusegaon by which they had travelled by their Land Rover vehicle.
visit was in the early sixties and was for six months was what I had thought earlier.
It was my impression that time that they were travelling from Satara daily. This
viist had been faint in my memory. I was deeply impressed by the informality and
dedication of all these six students. They were dressed in Khaki or Khaki like
trousers and invariably had colourful T-shirts on them. They were unmindful of
heat and dust while catching impressive photographs of the village life. The village
that time was a real village, more or less sleepy, with few streaks development.
It was, however, a central place for bazaar for its neighbourhood.
around 1995 or 1996, while telling my son about the tremendous transformation
the village had undergone over the last few decades that it occurred to me that
passing of such knowledge or information out of memory would fade one day with
the people of the older generation. The new generation with active life habits
would no longer be interested in knowing about the past. So I thought of having
some documents as archives about the earlier village life. It occurred to me that
this 'Study Team' of the Bristol University students would be of tremendous help
in my quest for the literature or documents and photographs on the village life.
Photography was almost non-existant at that time in the village and many people
lived long life without having been photographed even once! Thus began my search
for our distinguished guests. I distinctly recollect having read in the newspapers
at that time about the sponsorship of this visit by the Gokhale Institute, Pune.
After having tried with the Institute and not being able to get anything substantial
because of time lapse of over 40 years, I decided to approach the Registrar, Bristol
University. My efforts bore fruit and finally contact was established with the
group (in particular with Mr. Tony Morrison), on 1st April 1999. I felt I had
found a treasure trove and then there was no looking back. I am getting information
about the village notes, photographs etc. in a trickle from the group and this
trickle would become a torrent once they arrive in our village shortly.
was with this specific purpose that I had started my search of this wonderful
people and we are going to have them amongst us for three days very shortly. I
was impressed by them in 1960. I was very happy to know in 1999 that they are
all fairly health and are in touch with each other. I was thrilled to know that
they are seriously planning to make a revisit to Puesegaon and delighted by the
fact that even their lady-wives have thought it fit to visit our small place.
We all in the village in general and I myself in particular are delighted and
excited about the revisit. There is tremendous enthusiasm, curiosity, voluntary
participation in terms of time and money. The visit has brought the entire village
together and has united them cutting across differences. Cleanliness has been
given great importance. Spirit of unity and cleanliness are two most commendable
achievement of this visit. I am sure the visit would be highly beneficial to all
of us in establishing more meaningful, more warm and more regular contacts between
the "Team" and the villagers of Pusegaon.
I will be failing in
my duty if I do not mention about the tremendous help which I got from hundreds,
literally hundreds, of people from the village including the elected representatives,
the government officers, the teaching community, the students, my friends, relatives
and family members, police officers and staff and officers and staff of the MSEB
and from many others whom I am not mentioning in this brief note. I am intentionally
not mentioning the names or designations of anybody in particular because it will
be too formal for me to do so and I would like to be indebted to them and be under
their kind obligation on me than be formal by thanking them. I am sure the burden
of this obligation on me is going to increase both qualitatively and quantitatively
as the visit approaches and passes through successfully (I have no doubt about
the success of the visit and people's enthusiasm for the same). A special mention
must be made about the press especially at Pune, Kolhapur, Satara and Pusegaon
proper, which gave so much of coverage and importance to this unique visit - the
"Reunion-2000". This visit would definitely help us understand each
other and enable to build communication channels between the Team, the University
and our villages for the future.
Wishing all the best for the occasion and
thanking everybody once again.
text and most of the images are © Copyright
any commercial use please contact
NONESUCH - FLOWER OF BRISTOL
EMBLEM FOR ENTERPRISE|