Its been a while yet again since i managed to get pen on paper. Many things have happened in the meantime. I felt for some strange reason very lost when i heard Gabo is no more. Then came the election verdict, it didn’t leave me dazed and confused. As someone whom i knew put it “It is disheartening to imagine that I am in such a minority in terms of my idea of what constitutes a sound framework for society and the right way to lead one’s life. I look forward with fear and loathing to what the next few years have in store on the fronts that are important to me – freedom of speech, human rights, equity and social justice, environment conservation – and with dread to what they may entail for the many close friends who work in these areas “.
Paddy was sown, Turmeric was planted, Maize was sown, Millets were sown………then every passing day one looks at the sky & see if there is any signs of rains. Every passing person is asking the same question. Meteorological Department predictions all went awry. Things were looking quite bleak. I started to have dreams that rats have eaten the paddy seeds, ants & termites have eaten the maize seeds, turmeric was looking all shrivelled. Usually it starts raining on 4th June, latest by 7th June, however this time the rains decided to come only on 14th June.
Plants & trees were all looking desperate for moisture, it was hot, barren & sweltering. Now in just 48 hours of rainfall the whole landscape was changed. The transformation was indeed quite dramatic, it just lifted the mood of one & all. Rice, Millets, Maize & Turmeric just sprouted out of nowhere. Our in-situ propagation of Bamboo & other trees started immediately. We have one Amaltas tree on the river side & i had created a nursery from its seeds. Lots of Sweet Potatoes were planted & also Cucumbers & Pumpkins. Many orchids have lit up the place. The frogs are croaking throughout the night & fireflies are weaving their magic patterns, one day we had a gang of 24 peahens & peacocks on our fields, barking deers are calling very close…………
A flowing river is our USP & the sight of barren river-bed for the last three months has been very depressing.
Once again life is back & the river has filled up nicely.
A few weeks back when we were working on the fields one of my co-workers was sitting & looking into nowhere, i asked her what is she thinking about? She said she was dreaming of the river flowing & that she is yearning to eat crabs.
In a city during the rains the prices of vegetables & fish does sky-rocket, whereas for us the rains brings along with it plenty of goodies which we can consume without doing a cash transaction…… !!
Lots of edible Fungi, many varieties of native greens, Land crabs, River crabs, River fish, Clams, everyday a Jack fruit is been cut, everyone is gifting us Jack fruits, as of now all seems in abundance & not to mention the weekly ‘shikars’
On the flip side one wonders with this late arrival of the rains, will it suddenly stop or continue in the usual pattern, or will it rain when we have standing crops in November. None of these things are in our hands, so then why even think of these issues. Whats in our hands is very simple: brave the rains, wear rain protection (cannot afford to fall ill !) & do a hell of a lot of greening & that’s what we are doing.
Peace & Love