The Village - Part 1
It was a much needed break for Sandhya from her hectic normal routine and also to get her mind off from her worries. She decided to head towards some village all alone and wanted to spend this 1 week vacation. She thronged to live a life which is totally different and a life she has never lived before. She made sure that she is not connected and hence she switched off her mobile, that simple feeling itself brought a huge smile on her face, no conference calls, no escalation calls, no one will call her to ask "Hey were you the one who was working on that Banking module?", yes, Sandhya needs this break and it has to happen ...
Sandhya headed towards a remote village inside Tamil nadu called "Kottaampattipaalayam", there were two reasons for her to choose this village, one being, this is the place where her great grand father was born and the next one is, that is the place where electricity is yet to visit, for that matter I would say, that place is still in 1950s period. Sandhya gave herself a pat on her back for choosing this village. She took a train and reached that village on a cool Saturday morning. For a person who has always seen crowded airports and railway station, the deserted look of that station gave her the feeling that, "Yes this is the place I was looking for", Sandhya wanted to distance herself from the set of people who are always chasing something in life and going nowhere.
That was the only train which visits "Kottampattipaalayam" and that too once in a week, the so called crowd of 10 village boys who were there at the station came just to watch this giant mechanical vehicle racing on the tracks amidst of puffing thick dark smoke and that mesmerizing whistle, these are the beautiful things of life which we city people miss, said Sandhya's inner voice. Sandhya too joined that gang of guys and started to admire the train, she liked the innocence of those little ones, who heart fully wave hands at almost all the people of the train even though there were none to reciprocate that wave back to them, but that did not do any damage to their joy, they screamed and waved at the train as it gained speed from their station and watched it till the end where that "X" became "x". Sandhya was absorbed into their enthusiasm and hence she too was enjoying the train leaving the station and stood there till she could see the train as a "Black" dot.
She did not have any clue about that village and its people but thanks to all the tamil movies she has seen which preached one unwritten thumb rule saying, if she goes into the village and tells her grandfather's name, some oldie will recognize her grandfather and would say "Avar pethiyaa nee ..." and would shed few tear drops for her grandfather, once again Sandhya's inner voice said "You crazy nut". Sandhya took a long walk into her village, she does not want to ask anyone of how far is it from the station, she just wanted to walk and of course who would not like a morning walk in a village that too on a mud road where you could see a river flowing on your right hand side and a big landscape of green field on your left. The sight of winds flowing across the field and the way those tall grown up greens shaking their head would give you a feeing as if nature is performing an opera by itself.
Sandhya just wanted to stand there and admire that beauty of nature, and above all, if you want to inhale such pure oxygen with a pinch of green smell with it, you can never get that in a city. Sandhya told herself for cribbing to go to work at 8:30 in the morning, but she could see scores of females who were already started their work at around 6 AM in the morning, of course with their lunch carriers and she could notice a nearby tree playing a role of the hanger to those lunch boxes (ah, lunch cylinders ??). She used to wonder if what's been shown in movies about villages are true and that is what she is seeing today, those ladies were actually singing their favorite songs and doing their work, they are not Chitra's or Suseela's or Janaki's but they enjoy their singing, once again her inner soul imagined a scene where all team members singing a song at the start of their day in her software company and their project manager dancing for it, that brought a wild giggle on her face the next moment.
Sandhya unwind her bag and took out her tooth paste and tooth brush and decided to freshen up herself in that wonderful river where water flow is pretty normal. That was the first time Sandhya is stepping into a river in her life, she also took out her facewash and couple of other soaps, a typical software girl ah ?. She first tested the water, it was very cold and very sweet, and above all its freeee, if she has to get this kind of water in the city she has to pay Rs 20 for it and all she will get is 1 litre. She squeezed a pinch of paste and applied it on her brush and placed her eyes on the tree which was just above her, and she could see a bunch of parrots sitting on it and making those wonderful "ki ki ki ki" sounds, it was as lovely as hearing Illayaraja live. She washed her face and decides not to wipe it with a towel, she wanted that cold breeze to dry it for her. She continued her walk into the village and within 15 minutes she could sense that she has reached the heart of the village, and what else could be a better sign, other than a tea shop and a bench in front of it.
She walked inside the village amidst of those curious onlookers, and at the same time she was on the look out for an oldie to whom she can say that she is the grand daughter of Selvarathinam, fortunately she was approached by an old woman who asked her "Who are you ? Being a girl you are wearing pant and shirt like a guy ? Are you from madras ?", they still don’t know that Madras has been changed to Chennai long back. Sandhya does not know what to reply and she thanked all tamil movie directors who have given her a hint that girls should not wear pants and shirts inside the village, but for this question thrown to her, all she replied was, she is from madras and she is the grand daughter of "Selvarathinam", and as a rude shock she got a reply back from that old women asking "Which Selvarathinam ? There is no one by that name in this village as far as I know", she just cleared her throat and asked, "Is this kottampattipalayam ?", and got a reply saying "Yes", and now she remembered to add the keyword before her grandfather's name and this time she said, she is the grand daughter of "Pannayaar Selvarathinam".
That brought a big smile on that old women's face and with an extra sense of excitement that old women replied "Pannayaar pethiyaa nee ...", after this dialogue she appreciated all tamil directors to have guided her well, but that over reaction of the tear drop was missing. That old women then screamed a couple of other names which Sandhya could never pronounce in her life, and immediately she was surrounded by a gang of people who by now have got the news of whose grand daughter she is. Following that there were enquiries about various names in her family which she could not recollect, and she was surprised to hear that they remember the name of her mom and they enquired about her well being, with so much of love and affection in their words, by now Sandhya tried to re-collect her room mate's name, which she couldn’t. She told all of them that she is planning to stay her for one week and spend some time with all of them. She was most welcome and an old woman revolved her hands around Sandhya's head and broke few bone tangles on her fingers by pressing it against her head and said "She looks exactly like her mom ..."
To be continued ...