We started building our cottage on the farm around March 2012. The masons had completely screwed up the roof & the flooring. During the first rains in june 2012 we had more water inside the cottage than outside, plus the flooring was terribly uneven. We had to employ a new set of masons to do the repair jobs, even they were not able to repair the roof & plug the leakages.
We had got stones to make shelves, for sitting spaces in the verandah, for the kitchen platforms, for the window sills etc. While the vehicle with the stones was leaving Pune we had packed everything properly……but while the vehicle approached the valley near the farm it could not climb due to the weight. So many stones had to emptied & the driver decided to do two trips. In the process the packing went all haywire & when the vehicle entered the dirt road near the farm many stones did break.
After the rains got over in October 2012 we decided to rework on the roof. Finally got it done & we thought its the end of the story. In the meantime we had started to dig an open well & there was blasting taking place. Our cottage is a good 300 mtrs away from the blasting site…. but stones landed on the roofing & damaged it again, also breaking the marble parapet in the verandah.
After the well digging work was over we had to call the masons again to do the roof.. As of now it has been completely redone, but the real test is only during the rains.
The cottage building has been an unending saga & its going to continue. In fact right from the beginning it has been a bitter experience & many things which has happened in this regard is better left unsaid. Instead of enjoying the process of building a cottage, i actually regret getting into it. Hopefully over the years when friends come & stay with us….. it might bring a smile back on my face.
Something which was budgeted for 5 lakhs has now gone beyond 10 lakhs, Every time when one feels; Yes now things might get over in a weeks time, but it never happens. Getting the right personnel is the major challenge; for eg: we had got a painter in end Feb & we now we are already in the middle of April & he has not finished the painting. He stays for two days & disappears. The kitchen is yet to be done. We still have not carried any our things yet & now with fields plowed in the neighbourhood its going to be difficult. So basically one looks now to Oct 2013 for us to make this space into a happy dwelling.
In all this cottage building mess the farm has really taken a beating & i’ve not been able develop the soil the way i would like it to happen
On the other hand it is satisfying to see some things which we had started a few months back getting over & done with: like the Chicken coop & also the Open well
Now the chickens have a home of their own & we have “water security” in the farm. By putting the chickens into an enclosed area now one can start preparing our fields for turmeric & not be bothered about them coming & raking everything out. Also its time to put in serious attention to the birds, improve their diet, get better local varieties etc.
Everyone in the village is happy with the open well & now most of them come here to collect their drinking water and also to do gupshup !!
But on the other side the drought which is hitting Maharashtra is one of the worst. I believe 1972 was a bad year….. but this coming couple of months is going to be worse than 1972. Already the tanker mafia has moved into the villages. A so called deputy chief minister of the state made a comment the other day……when there is no water where shall i arrange the water from ? & then he says…. should i urinate into the dams ? The best analysis of the situation in marathi is here & in english is here, where it is explained brilliantly that this so called drought is not a natural phenomenon but something which is created. More of that later.
Recently i was speaking to Salil & he sounded low that his hunt to find a piece of land has been in vain till now. I told him that searching to find a piece of land which we like had made me grovel & then after finding it….our paradise is making me grovel more…….