The Other Side of City Life

By Shannon Menezes
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July 31, 2020

Although I was raised in Muscat, Oman, and spent most of my childhood there, I had less exposure to my native village in India. When the time came to pursue my higher studies, I had to leave Muscat and settle in Mangaluru. Initially, I found it difficult to adjust in an environment like Mangaluru where there was a myriad of things like the humid weather, mosquitoes, cultural language difficulty, noise pollution, etc.

The days passed by and I eventually got adjusted. I found that there are lots of vivid opportunities to explore, different lifestyles and most of all I liked the village life where I used to travel to my grandparent’s place on weekends about 70kms from Mangaluru, a place called Pamboor close to Moodubelle, Udupi.

So what really caught my attention and enabled me to develop a fondness towards the village?

Travelling with my mother from NH17 to enter the service road, the journey begins to the village with few kilometres of adventurous graded roads. As we approach towards our house, the pet dog shows his excitement by wagging his tail and greets us with so much love and excitement. The neighbours, who are busy with their mundane work, show their gesture by greeting us with warmth and love and a broad smile on their face.

The moment we enter the house, we are welcomed by my Grandparents and traditionally, we take their blessings. We chat about the various things that happened during the week and our daily lives over a cup of coffee.

When the time comes for lunch, I am taken away by the flavour of fresh, homegrown organic vegetables; mainly Madras Cucumber curry with Jackfruit seeds and the traditional Chicken curry (Naati Koli) with Paper rottis (Kori rotti). This is followed by a mix of organic fruits like Papaya, Plantains and Pineapples.

After a short power nap, we pay a visit to the neighbours and they would not let us back without having refreshments like the famous steamed sweet potatoes and rice cakes. The people living in the village are greatly united by their humble nature and care for each other.

Time flies and its already dusk. After bathing, we recite our daily prayers which last nearly an hour since we pray for everybody; family members, relatives, neighbours and the departed souls. People have their supper early enough so that they go to bed and rise early. Most of the time, there are frequent power cuts. Sometimes, we are lucky enough to have the power to sleep under the ceiling fan. In the night, the frogs are pretty active and vocal in the paddy fields which is combined with the dogs barking. Those who are not used to this, would not get a good night’s sleep.

After experiencing a tiresome journey, the sounds do not bother us and we would get a sound sleep.

We are woken up in the morning by the sounds of the rooster crowing followed by the birds chirping melodiously. Normally in the morning, the villagers will be engrossed in tying Jasmine flowers. This is the most beautiful time to chat about what’s most happening as news channels frequency is limited in the village.

The time comes to go back to our place in the city. The neighbours give us a parcel of their fresh home-grown fruits and vegetables, and this is their expression of gratitude towards us.

As I get busy during the week with my routine college life and work, I will always reminisce the time I spent at the village. I’d be looking forward to going there again during the weekends. Living in the village, it feels like another planet of paradise with an abundance of natural resources and a calm environment.

 

 

 

Comment on this article

  • Vincent Dsa, Dubai/Pangala Parish. Shankerpura

    Tue, Aug 4 2020

    Congratulations.Good beginning. Keep going.

    Agree [1]

  • CHARLES LOBO, Padubettu/Muscat/Navi Mumbai

    Tue, Aug 4 2020

    Well said Shannon,
    Yes definitely you have expressed good views, whenever i travel to udupi/moodubelle, first when i get dawn from bus i feel the fragrance of red mud. When passed through any veg. hotel same fragrance like hotels at belle. You have spend good time, our time was very different. Tripple ride bycycles, ice candy, bella candy, candies, sweets from bakeries ( All are non branded) , Bramin hotels goli bhaje, KT, spending time in vodle fest with limited budget etc etc etc etc. Till now though settled in Navi Mumbai, whenever opportunity comes never hesitate to travel Moodubelle. Closeness to our parton St.Lawrence always with us.
    Good luck to you.!!!

    Agree [2]

  • Stany dsouza, Mumbai North West/Kaup

    Tue, Aug 4 2020

    Very well narrated Shannon. Keep it up. In fact it took me back to my childhood days in my native village, which still I cherish. Whatever you have written about gesture by neighbours in village is very true which you don't get to see anywhere in the cities. Stay blessed & keep writing.

    Agree [3]

  • Prabhu, Canada

    Tue, Aug 4 2020

    Dear Shannon: You are very lucky to have this gift of writing which is no doubt wonderful. So write on anything you like and keep a diary and again compare what it would be after say 50 years.

    I have travelled to much of the country side (some 75 years ago,) you have described. It was even more beautiful then. Unfortunately runaway population has done great deal of damage now and nature has been terribly damaged. A very sad loss.

    So write for the present and the future.

    Best of luck to you.

    Agree [2]

  • Richie Rebello, Belman/Sydney

    Mon, Aug 3 2020

    Very well written Shannon. Congratulations. Keep writing.

    Agree [2]

  • Dr Mukund, Muscat,, Marne, Moodubelle

    Mon, Aug 3 2020

    Well explained about the village life. Living in the country side is really an experience. It is just a paradise, if you live in villages especially during monsoon season. Naturally green, frogs, birds, peacocks, snakes, butterflies, grasshoppers, overflowing rivers (Pamboor and Arbi rivers), green, green and green everywhere. More than that, innocent minded people in the villages. But as you said, humidity is an issue. Excepting the humidity villages are just like heaven on the earth....
    Your kori rotti is mouth watering. Retired life one should spend in such villages. I really feel sad for present day's most children, who are deprived of village life.
    Children who are settled in the concrete forests, should go and enjoy such a beautiful life at least once in a year.

    Agree [5]

  • Melvin Menezes, Pangla / Muscat

    Sun, Aug 2 2020

    Dear Shannon,
    Nice article. Very well written & presented. Keep writing.
    Congratulations.

    Agree [4]

  • Nirmala Monis Prabhu, Pangla / Mumbai

    Sun, Aug 2 2020

    Dear Shannon,

    Beautifully narrated the cherished moments spent in the village. congratulations.
    God bless you.

    Agree [3]

  • CYRIL SEQUEIRA, Pamboor/Muscat

    Sun, Aug 2 2020

    Excellent! Nicely written. Liked the exact way you narrated our village life.
    God Bless you Shanon

    Agree [3]

  • Brian Nazareth, Koppa/Mangaluru

    Sun, Aug 2 2020

    Well written article and very descriptive. Going back to your native place from any corner of the world is always a experience you cherish. In these turbulent times village life is the ideal choice for all to go back to and enjoy nature and simple living.
    Looking forward to more articles from you.

    Agree [2]

  • Brian Nazareth, Koppa/Mangaluru

    Sun, Aug 2 2020

    Well written article and very descriptive. Going back to your native place from any corner of the world is always a experience you cherish. In these turbulent times village life is the ideal choice for all to go back to and enjoy nature and simple living.
    Looking forward to more articles from you.

    Agree [2]

  • Dolphy Frank, Bejai/Muscat

    Sun, Aug 2 2020

    well expressed article, real feelings, facts and experiences.
    Keep on writing Shannon. wish you a bright future. God bless you.

    Agree [3]

  • Rita dsouza, Mangalore/Mumbai/Muscat.

    Sun, Aug 2 2020

    Dear Shannon.

    Excellent! Nicely written. God Bless you my dear.

    Agree [3]

  • PINTO, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 1 2020

    I am toiling in the gulf for more than two decades now . Like most of us I was born and brought up in an environment which Shannon has mentioned above. I had so many opportunities in life to migrate to Western countries but I declined because I love mother nature than city life which is full of stress. The peace of mind which you get in village life is something which we miss almost everyday.

    Agree [4]

  • Veronica Alick, Moodubelle/Delhi

    Sat, Aug 1 2020

    Shannon , you made us feel nostalgic and made us reminisce the good times of our countryside. Cant wait to get back to mangalore

    Agree [3]

  • Mickey Castelino, Pangla/Dubai

    Sat, Aug 1 2020

    Good one Shannon. Good to know how you spent your weekends during your stay in Mangalore. You are lucky to experience the other side of the city life which most of the children of your generation is missing. Keep exploring and writing .

    Agree [3]

  • John Gonsalves, Barkur/Muscat

    Sat, Aug 1 2020

    Dear Shannon, very well written article. Glad to know you have flair for writing articles such as this. Yes children who are brought up in urban cities or in foreign countries, when they go to native, enjoy for a short time and later forget . But when the opportunity comes to be there for longer period, understand and love the nature more and more with its beauty, culture and people. Well expressed. Keep it up.

    Agree [3]

  • Reshma Dsouza, Pamboor / Saudi Arabia

    Sat, Aug 1 2020

    A very well written article Shanon . Liked the exact way you narrated our village life.
    Felt like summer vacation tour to our village . This time we too missed the parcels of our neighbors..
    God bless you....... keep writing....

    Agree [3]

  • VIJAI DCUNHA, Guruvayankere/ Muscat

    Sat, Aug 1 2020

    Dear Shaanon

    I was impressed with how well you written. It is one of the best feelings when you reach others with your writing, and I found your article relatable and beautiful. Your article made me to fondly recall my days at native where all you said was an usual experience.

    Keep writing! Good luck!

    Agree [4]

  • Lawrence Alva, Moodubelle/Muscat

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    Very well written Shannon. You have a flair for writing with an ability to vividly describe life. If you enjoy writing then keep at it and write a piece on a regular basis. Reading through your writing I did actually experience the bus ride and the walk through the fields. Thank you.

    Agree [3]

  • Arun Dsouza, Shankerpura

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    Great write up... well narrated... keep writing

    Agree [3]

  • Shyla Machado, Pangla/Muscat

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    Well written article dear Shannon. It has revived the old experiences in us which we went through.

    Agree [3]

  • Richard Mathias, Xanthe Katte. Kalianpur.

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    Dear Shannon, Congratulations .Wonderful real experience. Nicely narrated. Mrs & Mr. Stanley, by this write up we can understand your children are brought up through our religious beliefs. Keep it up. Congratulations to you as proud parents.

    Agree [6]

  • Priyanka Dsouza, Pangla/ Muscat

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    Beautiful writeup Shannon !!
    Good job..

    Agree [3]

  • Antony D'Cunha, Permude, Mangalore

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    As the Jasmine flowers grown in the area spread its fragrance all over the world, keep shining and scale greater heights in your career.

    Agree [4]

  • Ronny, MUMBAI

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    It's true..and blissful, something we badly miss in a city.... ..it's imp to have been rooted......

    Agree [3]

  • Evelyn Priya, Bangalore

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    A well written article. Living in a city and staying far from my native place I could relate to everything that was portrayed. It's really nice to know that the younger generation still enjoys and appreciates the lifestyle of the people in the village. Thanks for refreshing the memories of village life.

    Agree [3]

  • Mariette, Kadri

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    Dear Shannon,
    Well written article. I know you are a simple girl,appreciating everything and everyone with a beautiful smile. Keep on writing. Wish you a bright future.

    Agree [3]

  • Renita Pais, Karkala, Pangla, Oman

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    Wonderfully written.. Felt like a virtual tour to the native...
    good job Shannon... 👍🏼👍🏼

    Agree [2]

  • Savio, Sydney

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    Very well written Shannon. That’s the exact experience I too have when we visit our ancestral home, on holidays away from our routine busy lives ....

    Agree [5]

  • Mangalurian, Mangaluru

    Fri, Jul 31 2020

    That was a very interesting article, Ms Menezes. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

    For many people who have spent theor entire growing up years in a city on the Arabian Peninsula, the life in India, particularly in the countryside, must be both perplexing and fascinating. Then there is the issue with various languages as well.

    If all people resorted to the daily prayers of an hour (and the prayers for everybody), I am sure the world will be much more peaceful.

    Would be keen to read your future articles.

    Agree [7]


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