Jan 1, 2009

Tour Diary - 2008

I had a very cool vacation this time. I always had a passion to go to villages and mingle with people who live there and this trip was simply fantastic I that aspect. Though I had been for a pilgrimage tour, most of the GOD's live inside a remote village where the atmosphere is simply calm and serene. I have a serious plan of getting settled in a village once I retire, and that desire has gained more strength after this visit, but as you all know, "Man proposes and GOD disposes", so I don’t know what's there for me in store down the lane ...

It all started on a lovely morning, I took an auto to go to a temple called "Thingaloor" which is supposed to be one of the "Navagraha Sthalam". It was a perfect day for outing; sun was so kind and warm, with a thin layer of cloud cover over it. My auto went between two paddy fields on both the sides, it was lush green and all the crops were full grown and is about to be cut in a few weeks from now. The aroma they spread when hit by that cool breeze is just beyond words for me to explain, you have to feel that. There are lovely little "cranes" that manage to stand tall amidst of those paddy crops and were busy hunting fish from those farms. They actually look as if they were bleached with SURF EXCEL, so white. When SUN starts rising, you could see a wonderful shade which is spread across those paddy fields, even great artists could not render that kind of a shade on their canvas. It’s nothing but the reflection of those tiny little due drops which sits on top of the paddy field and when sun rays pass through them, they give you this magnificent shade.

Mornings in villages are always calm and serene. Farmers engage themselves in their work as early as 6 AM in the farms. There is this lovely big water pump which pumps a thick gush of water to those huge paddy fields and you could see some people taking bath under it. My dad told me that if we take bath that force of water, you will feel as if you are at heaven, it will be so soothing and energetic it seems. You will not find such variety of birds anywhere in the city, they actually make the mornings even more pleasant and wonderful by their constant screeching sounds. They fly all across the paddy field and sits on the nearby trees, once again, I am stunned by the creativity GOD has, what a variety of color shades he has given to those birds, my goodness, he is the greatest artist of all times. One greatest liking for me about villages is it's "tea shops". I love drinking tea in that kind of shops, so I stopped at a tea shop and ordered for a cup of coffee, I sat on that wooden bench and glanced at the news paper for a while, that aroma of paddy fields has engulfed that entire village, which is quite soothing to your mind and body. In city they have opened "Oxy Spa's" where people go there and pay to get good oxygen, but in villages it's available in surplus, that too for FREE.

Every house has either a dog or a cow or goats and they are not mere pets, they are one in their family. Like how we take our breakfast, they feed their pets with their preferred breakfast menu. I have not seen such cute and adorable goats in my life, me being a animal crazy fellow, I just took one bucking and a doeling and fed them with banana's, they were so soft, one is of pure white and another one is of my color (pitch black). School going kids are so simple in those villages, they just carry a small yellow bag and they actually walk almost 5 kms to reach their house. It’s not the kind of trend where you have to get your kid those costly "jetix" pencil boxes or "tom & jerry" backpacks or a "pop-eye" tiffin box. Myself and my dad were going in an auto, since I saw these lovely kids, we offered them a ride to their school, you should have seen the jubilation on their faces, there were 8 kids in total, we stuffed all of them and dropped them at their school. In that gang, there was a guy who looked so worried and I asked him why, and he said, he has lost his "Balpam", so I took him to a shop and got him a "balpam" box which he was hell-bent in not to get it from me for FREE, he wanted to pay for at least one "balpam" which is 25 paisa.

I almost pissed off my dad by asking him to stop the auto whenever I see a kutty goat or a cow or a dog, I used to carry bananas or biscuit's in my bag just to feed them. One of my long term wish which has never been fulfilled is that of having a Labrador at home. My dad has emotionally blackmailed me saying that it's a terrible sin to separate mommy and kid, and if I take that little puppy home, his or her mommy will feel for it and cry, that sin will not leave you for sure, after hearing that, I dropped the idea of owning a dog for life, whenever I get the idea to buy one, this statement will come into my mind and I will stop proceeding further. If any of you folks know any Labrador who has been abandoned by its mom or dad, please do let me know, I am ready to own it, which will be the only way I could convince my dad. I feel so jealous on seeing those puppies in that village, they all play happily all through the day and enjoy good air, they literally jump into the sides of "Cauvery" river which flows on the backside of every house and take a happy bath, man, and it’s no more a "Dog's life" at villages.

I happened to talk to a farmer just to kill my curiosity to know how are they growing "Rice", he explained me in detail about all the steps they have to do before that lovely grain comes on our plate. My goodness, we the so called "software engineers" are a "good for nothing" lot when compared to the hard work a farmer puts in. It takes exactly 98 days for a rice crop to grow, provided there are no natural calamities like rain or earthquake, and there is a whole lot of process that is involved to take that rice out of its shell and what we are eating daily are the rice which are "polished". For god sake, please don’t waste rice, just take the quantity you want to eat and finish off the full stuff, don't throw it into the bin. I have taken a oath that I will not waste even a single grain of food in my life anymore after hearing the amount of hard work it takes for that grain to come onto my dining table, in a way, it's a respect that we are giving to our farmers.

Do you guys know what the diet of a farmer is in a day? I will tell you. A farmer gets up at 5:00 in the morning and goes to his farm. He takes something called "Pazhaya Saadham" (Old rice) which is nothing but, Rice cooked last night and soaked in water or buttermilk or curd, if the farmer is well off, they will use curd or else they will use water or buttermilk. Even the landlords of those farm lands used to have this as their breakfast. Their all time favorite side dish is "onion" or "green chilly"; they eat this at around 8:00 AM. They continue to work till 2:00 in the noon. By 4:00 they take a cup of tea and some "Vadai's", for people who don't know what a "Vadai" is, it's nothing but "Indian Donuts", this is supplied by the land lords to his workers. By 6:00 they wind up their duty and head back home, no farmer's house will have a dried rice tin, because most of the land lord's pay them in terms of grains rather paying them in terms of money. They make a very heavy dinner where there will be some non-veg item and some "Sambar" kinds of stuff, after having that, they go to a liquor shop and take a good gulp of that liquid "Yama", and the reason he gave me was, without having that, he cannot sleep, coz the pain his body would generate after that strenuous work would be unbearable and he have to take that to have a peaceful sleep. May be true, coz we don’t work as hard as he does.

Nights in villages are another beauty, moment the sun starts to set, you could see those birds huddling in one of the biggest tree in that village, till they all settle down inside their respective nets, they make such a loud noise which is a mixture of variety of birds voices, to me it was a "Symphony" on its own. The villagers do not bother that sound, because they say that they are their "Alarm clocks", as they start screeching sharp at 4:00 in the morning. Most of the villages are still reeling under darkness without electricity; hence there is no worry of people watching those stupid "Mega serials" all through the night. They all gather at a common place and start chatting; they have a separate male club and a separate female club. They discuss right from "Kanniyamma's 5th pregnency" to "Barack Obama's" presidential status, I too joined one such argument and had a nice time. They all were shocked to hear the fact that we are buying water for Rs 50 per can to drink. But that is the state we are all in today.

Village people may earn much less than what we all earn, but they are people of a very kind heart. I pray to GOD that this tortoise called "IT" should not enter villages and corrupt that wonderful atmosphere. Villages have to be like this and if they started to change and if every farmer son wants to get into the software industry, you and I have to starve to death. Remember this folks, a farmer son can still do good amount of coding or testing, but you and I cannot do farming at any point in time in our life, we are not physically fit to do that. If you folks want to enjoy the true essence of life, please do visit some remote villages of tamil nadu, I will be more than happy to be your guide. If you visit a village, your mind, body and soul will be sanitized. I wish I too can settle in a village where I can spend the rest of my life with mother nature.

9 SAID FROM THE HEART:

Amrita said...

u painted a bful picture satish

Satish (a.k.a) Bhaashaa said...

@Amrita - Thanks. But I still feel that I have not described enough about the beauty of that village. What to do, that's all I have as my writing skill :(.

Jayalakshmi said...

The hard work the farmers give to feed other people is incomparable. Even I have a idea of settling down in a village due to calmness and rushlessness of life. You know some 20 years back, it took like 6 months for a full rice crop to grow. But now due to technology, it has been reduced into half and due to that the rice crop has reduced its goodness and increased its badness. I am also same like you like enjoying a cup of tea in a small tea shop driniking with other people. So I guess you had a very good and long trip after a very long time.

servlette said...

Your narration of the village is real good... Happy New Year!!!

I still remember your jokes... Heard thru Harihar that you are now with a British software company...

Regards,
Aravind

Satish (a.k.a) Bhaashaa said...

@Servlette - Thanks dude. Ah, Have we met before ? I am surprised that you know harihar, so I thot you and I should have met before.

chennai girl said...

Good writing. After reading i feel i should myself visit and stay there with my kid atleast for few days.

servlette said...

Satish,
Don't you remember me?
I was your colleague when we worked in Covansys.

Though lengthy nights of staying up to 2 am in the morning, joking at the office kitchen when delivering Citibank Wealth Management project under Elango...

Shylu said...

"whenever I see a kutty goat or a cow or a dog...." i could really visualize you stopping your auto now and then to feed them.... :-)

Satish (a.k.a) Bhaashaa said...

@Shylu - I am a animal crazy fellow, and I luv to have one at home

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