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.