Monday, August 22, 2011

Dawoodi Bohras - Water from Desert ?

Around 1973, our family entered the business of textile processing in Karachi. Water represents the building block of this business. This qualification made the arid region of Karachi theoretically unsuitable for textile processing, unless if one enjoyed access to a robust municipal connection or one was sitting on top of an aquifer.
We enjoyed neither advantage. The municipal connection was not there; several factories in our neighborhood had dug deep wells, but there was just no ground water to justify the factory's presence in the vicinity.

The opinions were clear: scrap the project or move.

Eventually we recognized that only one power could resolve the problem. Huzurala. So we submitted a detailed araz with the plot's sketch, indicating where the factory building would be located, where the open area would be etcetera etcetera. The problem, we indicated, was the water. Where would we find it?
Huzurala took one look at the map and immediately thrust his finger on it. He was indicating where we should dig! Everyone was relieved, but that is when the story took an interesting twist. The person who had created the map realized that he had made a mistake...the north had been represented as south and the south as north! So someone said that in that case, we needed to flip the direction of the spot that
Huzurala had identified. Somebody else said that we shouldn't tamper with something we knew little about. So off we went toHuzurala yet again, this time looking a little sheepish and explaining that we had got our co-ordinates wrong and would he please make re-indicate where we should dig.

Huzurala - surprise of surprises - made no change. He thrust his finger on the same spot.

We dug. We struck fresh water within 25 feet. Our factory became a reality. And more than three decades later we still continue to draw water from a spot within a region that is generally dismissed as 'desert'!

Interview ends

Dawoodi Bohras : Following interview of Shaikh Abdulhusainbhai Harianawala (Karachi) by Mudar Patherya (Calcutta)


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