In Pursuit of a Simple Life
Whenever I visit my home town, my father-in-law insists on me visiting our small rubber plantation located at the top of a hill which is a few miles from our house.
And every time I arrive at the foot of the hill, the tiny bit of pleasure I have in visiting my own land vanishes and a feeling of dread overcomes me because from there on I would have to score two miles of steep hill to the summit on foot as the road up is beyond the capacity of even a jeep to climb. It is steep, narrow and unrecognizably damaged by rain.
My father-in-law who is 61 years of age is a regular visitor and climbs with the enthusiasm of a kid climbing a staircase. But I huff and puff and every ten meters I stop to catch my breath. After almost 40 minutes of battle with my legs and lungs, I reach the plantation site tired and breathless.
But once my legs are ready to carry my weight again, my mood quickly changes and I feel pleased with myself for having made the effort to go there. I change into a worker’s dress, which is usually an old shirt put away after regular use, grab a hoe and join other workers in the field and soon transform into a mass of sweat and mud rolled into a human shape.
A day’s work on a hill ends by lunch time which I think is due to the extra exertion caused by high-altitude. I scrap the mud off, take a quick wash and settle for lunch. Lunch is a simple rice meal with tapioca and dry coconut chutney for side dish but tastes like heavenly food especially after the heavy toil.
After lunch the workers sit together and chat about the local affairs, but I quietly leave the spot and go for a walk-around with my camera. I carry a long stick and wave at the shoulder-high grass in front of me as I walk. It’s a precaution I take to avoid confronting a snake by accident – the dormant grass provides nice camouflage for snakes.
I walk to the highest point of the hill. This has become a habit, even on a very hot day I climb up to the summit because it gives a sense of completeness to the day. The blazing sun would soon send me scurrying down the hill, but in the few minutes I spend there, I cannot stop feeling “do I not love this life”? I have always liked farming and never had any qualms about getting dirty in the field, or my skin becoming darker under the blazing sun.
I say to myself, “I should quit my job in Bangalore and take up farming full-time…” but only to return to Bangalore and change my opinion and only to return to the same hill once again and re-discover my love for farming.
Life goes on…
🙂 This was a very interesting story. The flow was good.
It was effortless.
If you could sit down to listen to them, do share that as well.
I just felt like asking. you may not oblige but it would be a different experience i think to listen to the people and learn a thing or two.
But yes, your efforts to work among the workers is commendable. In a way they are lucky to till the soil.
But then, back here when you come, you will feel your work is easier. I surmise.
Thanks for the comment, Divenita.
Actually the ‘workers’ mentioned in the post are not some kind of mountain tribes. They are just like any villager you meet in life. They read newspapers and they are well-informed. Only difference is they work in the fields in the high mountains, and we work in a tall glass building in the city. Their life style may be simple, but they are rich people, in fact, wealthier than most people in the city!!
There are mountain tribes in our hometown, but they are difficult to find. If I meet them, I will share the experience here.
Very nice picture :)! 😀
Pictures are taken from the original location
Loved the flow up… enjoyed 🙂
i cant see the images, even refreshed it 😦
Thanks for reading. I don’t know why images aren’t showing up in your system. Check in other machine, but you can afford to miss, I guess, they are not mind-blowing stuff anyway!!
I beg to differ here. The pictures actually aren’t worth missing – they are spectacular! I loved the way you narrated this experience and it is interesting how it remains more or less the same in every visit. Perhaps the last bit sums it up well: life goes on. 😀
Oh, good to know you liked the images. I have seen them thousand times so I kind of undervalued them.
Believe me, I feel the same when I go to my village. I want to be in those fruits trees, eat there and go for a walk in the evenings. I think later in life, I will surely settle there. I have never seen rubber plantation…
Second shot is beautiful. There is beauty in everything, isn’t it?
Yes, there’s beauty in everything – we only need to see.
Pleasure reading your post after such a long gap. And just as I was wondering why the f^&*% does his call his blog, Tomato blog I chanced upon the Tomato story!
Rotten tomatoes my foot! you write from the heart and your posts are delightful.
Don’t give up dreams – the farming and the book.
Thanks for the overwhelming support Purba. I will send you a free copy of my book if it gets published!!
I have thought about quitting the job every time I visit my maternal place..life is simple,dreams are small and OG course I love the smell of the soil out there.
I’m in pursuit of a simple life. Hopefully in the future I will get to do what I like the most – farming.
Hey, where’s the guest post?
To be or not to be, is the question, we face when we visit places where we could have lived and enjoyed. You are lucky to have a retreat to go to and enjoy the nature and its bounty. Many do not even know the pleasures of simple country life and lush greenery.
Thanks for sharing that wonderful place welcoming you every now and then.
“Many do not even know the pleasures of simple country life and lush greenery” – so true
I stumbled upon your post and stayed to read it. Loved the pics and the experience.
Thank you. Read my other posts as well, hopefully you will like it.