After tasting a bit of success in last year‘s paddy & feeling gung-ho about it, this year’s harvest happens to be a real damp squib. The late rains, then when the deluge finally arrived, it became difficult to find people to do the transplanting, loads of weeding jobs, then finally when we finished harvesting the paddy on Nov 16th again the heavens opened & rains came down, which meant a whole lot of it was lost.
Even though i don’t mind certain levels of unpredictability in life, i would prefer a certain predictability in my work. When results from one’s work becomes unpredictable then it is a real blow to one’s confidence. However life & one’s work is also interwoven together & one cannot separate them either. Then negativity creeps in & questions like let me try & find a job starts popping up. One realises at this stage of life there is no job that i am qualified for & the jobs that i might qualify for will require me to slog 12 hours a day to earn 5k. I might as well put in that amount of work on the farm. Again my thoughts drift to next year….. again the same questions come up…… Should we grow paddy or not ? If not, what else ? Hopefully some clarity will come up in the next couple of months.
I lost my father recently (he was 87 years & was suffering for the last 6 months with a heart ailment), so in all this i am away from the farm for long periods of time, which also means that we will not be growing anything this winter either.
The only thing which we achieved without much ado in last 2 months was to build a proper dwelling for my co-workers.
In 2010 when we got this land this was the first dwelling we built. This was built-in a record 15 days. I used to stay here, then Prakash joined me, then his wife (Vimal) joined us by Oct 2010. In 2012 we build a cottage for ourselves, so i moved there. This shack has seen four monsoons. The wall needed constant maintenance, however the flooring was giving way. During the rains there wouldn’t be any dry area to sleep.
Its been in our agenda to build a decent place for our co-workers to stay comfortably. We learned a few lessons from our last two building sagas/ episodes. So for this building project we took our own sweet time. The stones, bricks, sand et al were bought & kept last year. Many masons & contractors came & offered to do the building job. (also loot us in the process by quoting exorbitant rates). Fortunately we had met a very decent contractor here in Pune & one day while discussing with him the above, he offered to come to the land & give us the estimates of the material required & the costs involved in building. That was really nice of him & we had something to fall back on & refer whenever we spoke to any local contractor/mason. In October, when a local contractor came to us we could confidently give him the job.
Without vehicular access to our land we were able to build this house. Each stone, each brick, each granule of sand, each bag of cement was manually carried from across the river which is 300 mtrs from this house !