It used to be a normal custom few years back when people meet, to ask “Where are you from, which is your native place”. when I used ask such questions, this back in school, people used to refer to the village they come from with so much of pride, it used to make me a little jealous, because both my parents and grandparents were from Bangalore, so I had to really go back 3 generation to come up with a name of village.
It so happened that people related to me, even though a very far relation still stayed in a village near Hassan, a remote village. We as kids had opportunity to go there like once in couple of years or so, when my grand mother used to visit her cousins. As kids, we used to be a gangs in everything we do, so when it comes to visiting the village too we used to flock. We were a gang of five close cousins, we had to pursue our parents to send us for a small period, and after long promises that we are going to behave at our best, and also agreeing to all possible demands, parents used to agree for our vacation to village with out grandmother.
I thought it would be nice to recollect how our day used to be in the village….
To start with, the sanitary system in villages left much to be desired, firstly most of
them didnt have an actual toilet, so most of the people had to search for secluded place near the lake for the morning work. Since the family I used to visit was one of the wealthier ones, they had constructed a toilet, by that I mean four walls, with a horribly looking Indian style commode, and the worst part being the broken door, and with no lock. As kids no one used to mind this except me, I had a real tough problem doing my
morning business in such condition, but then it was once a day of circus I had to put up with this to enjoy the rest of the day.
Taking bath used to be big procedure. They used to have open boilers where someone needs to feed wood to heat the water. We being kids were not allowed to go near the
furnace, instead the elders used to do get the water, mix it with right amount of cold water, and et us take bath. It used to feel awesome to get everything done for us. A lazy kid’s paradise it was.
Breakfast used to be like a hour long affair, with all of us chatting. Eating used to be a
competition, with how much idli’s we can eat, or how many poori’s one can gulp [All Indian dishes], with none of the parents around it used to be so much fun, no one to stop us, and being guests they too didn’t mind us enjoying like this.
As our relatives used to grow coconuts for living, we invariably headed out with them to the coconut farm after breakfast, it used to a walk of around 5 miles, and by the time we
reached there, all the breakfast would have been dissolved without any trace, so the first demand used to be tender coconut to drink. Now there too we used to compete and gulp down two to three big coconuts, and the thin layer inside used to be too yummy to eat
The Farm had a small lake, more like a tank, and then a well near by, and that used to be our pool. Even though I didn’t know swimming, there used to so many grown ups around, who used to toss us inside making sure they held us, so we used to play there till an hour
past noon or so. and it would it time to come back for lunch
As we hardly go to their place, they used to make special dishes every day for lunch, and we even got to choose our favorites many of the days, see no doubt I turned out to be a foodie. I had preferences even as a 3 year old. I remember my mom cribbing that I
preferred my grand mother cooked food to hers when I was very small.
Anyways post lunch, we were forced to take a nap, which we used to hate, instead one by one we used to escape as soon as our grand-mom slept. They had an empty attic with
a very high roof, and they had put up a swing there, so we used to rush to the attic and start laying swing. The aim was to swing from one wall to another, and if possible try to touch the roof with leg, and this meant that there was violent pushing of the swing, with sometimes three of us pushing at one go.
Villages generally used to have power cuts most of the day, and so in night too, so most of the evenings were spent under the candle or the old kerosene lamps, the favorite pass-time was to tell made up horror stories to each other, and then when it came to dinner, e used to sit around my grandmother in a circle and force her to hand feed all of us so we could talk and eat.
Bed time used to be fun too, that’s when the fights used to begin, who gets to sleep besides whom, always a big fight.
Somehow I think the current generation will never get this as an idea for vacation, they would have to settle for resorts and rest places, our idea of summer vacation was
so much different.
I think my idea of a village will never change, however advanced they ever get..
This week was over at skittles for Heads or Tails, the prompt vote or anything which starts from V and I chose Village as the prompt