When I was a kid I was in my village. My day used to start with the chirping of birds flying out for the day’s collection of food. The warmth of the delicate morning sunrays used to soothe my body. I used to visit our paddy fields with my grandfather and enjoyed the swaying of green paddy bushes in the gentle cool morning breeze. Small artificial streams running between the two adjacent fields (dug especially for irrigation purposes) making a sweet humming sound was music to my ears. I was simply dumbfounded when my grandpa picked up crabs scurrying beneath the green carpet of grass for a mouth watering crab curry lunch.
Coming back from the early morning stroll in the fields and having my breakfast I used to take bath in the river along with my chums and then go around the village climbing trees, plucking black berries, catching fish with fishing rod, playing kabbadi, gilli danda (the india version of cricket where a small piece of cylindrical wood wedged at both ends was used as a ball to be struck by a bigger stick) and several other games typical to a odishan village. After the delicious crab curry lunch I used to work with my grandpa in the vegetable garden in our backyard. I watched him tending and watering the plants and I used to ask him several questions on the plants to satisfy my inquisitiveness. Bumpkins, cucumbers, arbi, potato, tomato, brinjal, papaya, lemon, maize, cabbage, coriander leaves and several other plants were grown in that garden. Fruits like mangoes, pineapples, palm and coconuts were also there in my village. I was very much conversant with several kinds of plants and insects owing to my upbringing in the lap of nature.
Several years later I was really surprised when my growing up little son while travelling in a train and looking out of the window asked me, ”Papa, what are those green small plants looking like a carpet on the ground?” He was in fact referring to the long stretching paddy fields. When I told him that the rice we eat was grown on those plants he simply could not believe it. On that day I realised the banes of urban up-bringing. My children, born and brought up in town and having never got a chance to visit any village were far aloof from nature and her wonders. On that day I decided to take my children to my native village and let them have a taste of rural life style. Urbanisation and modernisation had definitely taken their toll from our natural life style and made us more artificial and insensitive.
We decided to spend a week every year in my village during winter vacations when the village atmosphere was the most soothing and enjoyable. Both my son and daughter enjoyed this short stay in the village enjoying every moment doing something new as I used to do in my childhood. They enjoy plucking berries, tending to plants and watering them and seeing the process of rice production. They relish the taste of fresh vegetables and fish. Playing outdoors with their village chums is something they always look forward every year. And I can assert we enjoy the most beautiful family time together during that one week’s stay in the lap of nature away from the din and bustles of the mechanical city life.
Kissan’s invitation to get down to the roots and connect in person is a great step towards real togetherness. I am sure this initiative will go a long way in changing the life style of this smart phone crazy generation of Indians. To know more about this initiative please follow the link below.