The whole village seemed to have come alive.

Some were busy choosing particular coloured chickens for slaughter to appease the gods, others were choosing certain goats which fit the bill for the sacrificial slaughter. Goats of a certain colour & with certain marks on the forehead were in great demand. There was music in the air, the big drums were booming, women were all decked up by evening. Dancing goes on till 4am and a bit of flirting to go with it. Most men try to be on best behaviour. Flowers are collected, marigold flowers hung at the entrance of houses. Cucumbers are harvested & really tasty & yummy rice bhaakris are made with cucumbers & green chillies, and of course fish unlimited to go with it from the river next to us.

In the mean time all instruments were cleaned & sharpened & kept like this for 24 hrs…. just hoping for the best in the year to come !

also our plough…..

Many people came & applied sindur on a stone on our land on the river bed. They call it Kalsera. A very nice & a quiet ritual to connect with their elders who had passed by the earth. I hope the stone remains as it is & no one in future will spoil it by deciding to put any so-called god figures in it….

My forehead was also covered with sindur, many people called me over for a meal. I as usual being the shy one found some excuse to avoid all social gatherings & this time i had a real good excuse, because my co-workers Prakash & Bimal were going home, our dogs Shankarya & Rani would be alone so i needed to be with them !!

Really wonderful dogs. Rani is in fact 14 years old & Shankarya is about seven. It took a while to get friendly with them, but now they just seek me out & want to be touched & petted. Generally they are wonderful company. By the way Wild boars do cause a lot of damage to the rice fields & they have been on the rampage in some of the neighbouring fields. Rani & Shankarya have been our saviours, till now no boar family has been able to damage our fields. In the middle of the night they somehow sense the boars. Their sensors or antennae are always working unlike us,  many a time they nudge us to wake us up. We open the doors for them & they zoom off chasing off the boars & come back really proud of what they have done…….

A 5 minute cuddle is all they need as thanx ……..such small mercies in life !!

In between i had to go to Kerala for some work & as is my norm i had carried back a bag full of plants. The plants travelled with me to Delhi, then they came back with me to the land. In fact some of them really looked stressed out & i had a quiet prayer going & hoping that they will survive. Its been a joie de vivre to see the Rambutan, Mangosteen, Tapioca cuttings, banana saplings, bilimbi plants coming up with new leaves after about 3 weeks.

In the mean time preparation for wheat & Green Channa (Harbara) plantation is on full swing.  Stories about the planting coming up next.

Till then ciao !!

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