During the first three weeks of July the rains were steady. However this years transplantation was really slow and arduous. Since everyone in the village had started  transplantation at the same time we couldn’t get many people to come and help us. So for the whole two weeks it was just four people who did all the required tasks. It was harrowing, laborious, back breaking & relentless. Working continuously in the slush for 9 hours a day, for two weeks without a break, in unabating rain, strong winds, mosquito bites all over the body. I don’t know from where our co-workers derived the strength to do this formidable task. Red Salute !


Also there was added tasks this year with the Buffalo’s & Hens. In the morning cleaning the buffalo house & the Chicken house takes a good couple of hours, then in the afternoon the buffalo’s have to be taken grazing for another 3-4 hours. Plus one person would be busy with cooking tasks. So at any given time it was only two people who were able to work continuously.

There was no pre-monsoon this year, so all the tree plantations was done only after the rice & millet transplantation. Extensive reinforcements of the fence has been carried out & a line of Vetiver grass has been added to our already thick live fence. Lemon grass has also been added around our rice fields, giving it a nice aesthetic touch.

In between there has been a few heavy showers, once partner and me just managed to get out from the farm at the nick of time,just before the water started gushing over the bridge. Otherwise we would have been stuck for more than 5 hours due to the heavy deluge & lack of visibility. For the last 10 days it has been heavy to very heavy showers. Going to the farm can be an intoxicating drive watching nature just rejuvenating itself with an immense show of flora, the bird calls & raw beauty.

However, these days the drive is full of certain dangers. 1) There is always the fear of landslides. The hills are simmering due to the overuse of earth moving machines, a big natural disaster is bound to happen any time. I had witnessed one unfold in front of my eyes last year & i really don’t want to witness another one. 2) Beyond our village a newly made bridge was washed away, however there was no casualties. Down in Mahad, a shocking tragedy took place where the people who were driving their respective vehicles didn’t realise, nor see that the bridge over River Savitri, which they were about to cross was already washed away by the river in spate. Reading about it or watching the footage brings tears of helplessness. 3) Another danger which always lurks during this season is the drunken revellers. Lumpen elements from Pune come here during the weekends, firstly they drive so badly, they are so loud and always wants to create trouble, they disrespect the local people, especially the women, they leave behind tonnes of garbage, basically they behave as if its their right to destroy & disrupt. This year there has been an marked increase in this rowdy behaviour and hopefully the villagers will give them a fitting reposte which would teach them a lesson for life. I remember a few years back after a drunken altercation with a villager, many people from the village had gathered and smashed the windowpanes of their car & kept the revellers tied up in a house for more than 12 hours, till the cops came & took them away. Something worse is bound to happen this year.

Coming back to the rain fury…

Logically speaking, a region, which receives more than 3,000-mm average rainfall in a year, shouldn’t be suffering of water shortage in the months of summer. Agreed, Basalt rock has poor porosity & Red soil doesn’t allow much seepage of water. However for seven years i have been witnessing the lethargy of the government officials towards farmers & agriculture in general. Last summer only intensive work should have gone in making Swales & small 2ft check dams. Just a small intervention would have made a world of difference for the farmers. Now, who actually stands to gain from this bumper rainfall ? Does a farmer stands to gain ? No. The rainwater is gone into the arabian sea 25kms away in a matter of hours. Only city dwellers, Industries & Sugarcane farmers stand to gainwill be receiving 24 hour water supply. Would it be a fallacy to predict one more drought starting March 2017 ? As someone recently said “….how agonised we are about how people die, how untroubled we are by how they live….”

August is a really important month for this country, however the resemblance of the person in helm and Zia-ul Haq is so real. They almost look alike. Zia had destroyed a beautiful country called Pakistan in 10 years & the present Junta is following his footsteps. Hopefully i will not be alive after 10 years to see our beloved country ripped apart.

Today, Irom Sharmila broke her fast in Imphal, friends, supporters, sisters-in-arms gathered at Jantar Mantar to sing, acknowledge and celebrate her unimaginably courageous and resolute struggle for 16 long years. The date August 9 holds memory…it’s the day when fighters for India’s freedom were arrested during the Quit India movement under the Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance…the forebearer to the present Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Irom Sharmila’s solitary resistance against it should seed a new phase in the movement against it. A pamphlet distributed at Jantar Mantar put it this way,”HUMANE, DEMOCRATIC SOLUTIONS ARE NEEDED TO SOLVE REAL PROBLEMS FACED BY PEOPLE, DIALOGUE RATHER THAN REPRESSION.”

August 20th is also one of the saddest for the citizens of Pune…read it once more here

Peace, love, Khudā Hāfiz.