Kharkutta is a small village in the North Garo Hills of Meghalaya. On the border of Assam and Meghalaya, Kharkutta is a great mix of Garo, Assamese, Rabha and Bodo cultures. It gets big wild rains and thunderous winds and all around us are vast forests and pretty streams. The exuberance of nature and the simplicity of life here, lifestyles and livelihoods, inspire us and fill us with contentment.
People in and around Kharkutta are mostly farmers, daily wage labourers, teachers and Government employees. Joint families live in small houses with slanted roofs. They rear hens, cows, dogs, pigs and goats. Clucking, mooing household animals, the barking of dogs, grunting of pigs, bleating of goats, chirping of birds, buzzing of insects, and the hustle-bustle of coming and going vehicles... This medley never leaves us as we sit at our machines, turning out beautiful clothes for our customers.
We set up Bumbum here in 2011 and like to think that we added the gentle clackety-clack of our sewing machines to the town's orchestra. Every day we are amazed by the humble tenacious existence of humanity amid stunning hilly landscapes, vast open fields, tropical vegetation, palm trees, narrow meandering roads and broken wooden bridges over small ponds and streams, where electricity is so infrequent, and the roads are so pitted. It is a time-worn irony indeed that it is under-development that keeps a place serene and beautiful.