For me July to November is one of the difficult times of the year. Access to the farm gets difficult, the heavy rains etc coincides with the most important task in our farm…. which is growing paddy. In July when the season started i was drowned in self-doubt, mainly because my main co-worker in the farm was down with certain health issues. It would be true if i put it this way that i wasn’t hopeful of a productive Kharif crop for us. The initial heavy rains in July had led to a few land slides near our farm & to put it plainly things were looking bleak, very bleak.
As weeks went by many things started to fall in place on its own, my co-worker suddenly was healthy & buoyant, our paddy nursery started to flourish, enthusiastic villagers helped us with the transplanting which was done on time, weeding was done on time, fertilizer inputs was done on time, harvest was done on time & somewhere along the line when we realised this is going to be the best harvest of the last 5 years our moods changed & we became humble than ever before because we know very well that getting a decent paddy crop is never in our hands. It’s a gift of nature. We depend so much on nature to provide us with the back up with the rains during the growing stages & we plead with the weather gods not send a shower down while we harvest. We have no control over how a Kharif crop will go, it’s not in our hands. The remote control is held somewhere else where we ordinary humans have no access.
There is a saying which says it takes 10,000 hours of practice as the minimum requirement to perfect one’s craft, this is a position which i also completely agree with. So this mastering on how to grow paddy will go on for another 5 more years, then one can say Yes, i can see some progress/success in our work. Till then it is the quite grind out in the fields.
The river side gupshup (gossip) is getting quite interesting. This Crested Serpent Eagle will keep an eye on our hens from its perch from across the river & then slowly it descends on the ground & walks towards our chicken house & goes for the kill.
Small blue Kingfishers seems to have lots to talk about & there is still lots of fish in the river for them to feast on. The Red Wattled Lapwings are chattering away to themselves. They somehow seems a bit taller than normal, the Pond Heron doesn’t like to be disturbed because he/she would be concentrating for hours to catch the fish. So whenever we cross the river we have to do it quietly lest the Heron is disturbed.
The Small Cormorant is always meditating & shitting at the same time on the rocks. The Wagtails & my favourite the Green Bee Eaters are looking really busy & it’s really fun to watch them. If time allows i can lie down on a rock & watch them for hours.
In the meantime there was a sad news that Bhaskarbhai passed away. I could walk into his farm anytime & he would always greet me with a warm embrace. We have met so many times, walked around hand in hand on his farm so many times, had many a meal together. He was someone who did so many things on his farm on his own, starting the pump at 5 am in the morning, opening the valves to different water channels, tirelessly talking to any visitor, working on his own on his cold press machine for fresh coconut oil. For a 90+ year old from 5 am till lunchtime he worked tirelessly on his farm & more importantly whatever he spoke was rooted from his experiences on his own farm Kalpavruksha. An iconic farmer…….
peace, love & adios