SOMASILA(MAHABUBNAGAR): Even as leaders of the two Telugu-speaking states leave no stone unturned to prove that their respective dialect, culture and food are better than the other, bifurcation has not changed anything for people whose waters were divided by artificial boundaries.
Somasila in Mahbubnagar district of Telangana and Sangameshwaram in Kurnool district of AP share the same food habits, dialect and occupation apart from their caste, Mudiraj.
While many residents of Sangameshwaram work in the forest department, like residents of Somasila they too practice their traditional occupation of fishing.
The Krishna Pushkarams has also brought temporary employment opportunities for the residents of Sangameshwaram, who cross the boundary to reach Telangana in boats to work as unskilled labourers in both the ghats of Somasila.
While many work as construction labourers at the ghats and allied activities in Somasila, others go to Kollapur to work for businessmen who bagged the tender to prepare food for the pilgrims.
“During summers, they just walk across the dry Srisailam Dam to our village to meet us or buy essentials. Otherwise, they take a boat,” said G Lalitha, a Somasila resident.
Though ragi mudde (a local dish) and chicken is the most enjoyed delicacy in Rayalaseema, Sangameshwaram likes fish. “We love fish like the Somasila residents, mainly because of our traditional occupation,” said H Raju, a Sangameshwaram boatman who carried AP residents to Telangana to buy essentials.
“We go to Kurnool in search of jobs. Normally, our neighbours on the northern bank of Krishna informs us about various employment opportunities,” said T Rajesh, a fisherman and seasonal construction labourer, like many others of his village.
As they share the same caste, marital relations are very common between the neighbours. “There are over ten families who have maternal or paternal relatives residing on northern bank,” said Seethamma.
The artificial boundary drawn through Krishna waters has not divided them, yet.