Tuesday, June 24, 2014
The name of the apartment complex was unique enough to take a second look at. Was it something to do with a religious sect? Or was it in memory of someone important? Turns out it was (is) neither. Zalawad was one of the princely states of Saurashtra. I have not been able to figure out what Zalawad was like. But the history of the integration of Saurashtra, post-independence, makes for interesting reading.
Apparently, the geography of Saurashtra - or Kathiawar as it was known - makes for interesting reading. The region had fourteen 'salute' states, seventeen non-salute states and 191 other small states. Of the small states, 46 had an area of less than 2 square miles each. The smallest, Vejanoness, had an area of 0.29 sq.m, a population of 206 and an annual income of Rs.500.
The state of Zalawad seems to have been somewhere in between these minuscule principalities and the salute states. The only map of Zalawad that I have been able to find is in Gujarati, which I cannot read. Maybe some of the neighbours from that region came together to Madras and began to stay together in this part of Vepery, and maybe their families continue to live together in this apartment complex!