Farm visits & falling in love!
Farm visits are not only about seeing farms, verifying the crops, these are also about rich , varied life experiences that are so different from my everyday urban existence. Encounter toilets away from the house with no lights, sleep on a cow dung smeared floor and sit in front of fire to warm yourself.
Can I live the life I experience during my travels ? Maybe not permanently but stints of it yes, which is what we did when we lived in our village house for a longish time. These trips remind me that hosting people at home is not old fashioned, but a gesture of love & warmth.
Turning to see this glorious sunset while walking around a chana and jowar field admiring the black chana and 8 feet high jowar plants.
Deciding to wear a saree to the fields inspired by the women farmers who manage to do everything in a saree . And realizing that my saree was the same color as the maturing emmer crop making me one with the crop ....
Watching the beautiful flame of the high heat fire burning with sugarcane badass that looked like 'a sunset over a forest' (someone described it on seeing the photo on stories)
Seeing a beautiful well preserved family home in a village which housed 108 members of a family till 1998, till they built and moved into their own homes.
Being handed this ruby red kokum drink, which was possibly one of the most delicious drinks I have had.
Watching these amazing rice puris being made effortlessly by Jayalakshmi assisted by her little 7 year old and husband Yogesh.
To find myself in front of a wood fire with a mug of coffee on a chilly morning along with two members of the host family in a village in the middle of a forest.
And finally, falling in love. And who was that? I asked for her name, Jayakumar and Nayan smiled and said , she doesn't have a name. I suggested that they should name her Sundari, both of them smiled indulgently...
Sundari is this magnificent buffalo at Jayakumar's farm , she is tied next to the veranda and placidly chews cud and scratches herself with her mighty horns. She nuzzles up to the family members and honored me by licking my palm, when I gingerly nuzzled her. With these magnificent horns and beautiful eyes she stood watching us , letting the dog play with her , munching the banana I handed her, languid, massive, beautiful & memorable... my new love …..