Visiting my village once a year had become an annual thing in my childhood days. My father was doing service in a city, roughly 200 kms away from my village. He was born and raised there and was very fond of the place and its people, especially his parents. For me, it was a period of enjoyment and merry making with my cousin brothers. There were so many things we did – playing cricket in the empty paddy fields, going to the mango grooves near the village pond and sitting there for hours on the branches of mango trees talking about so many insignificant things, enjoying the serenity and calmness under the cool shades of the trees, roaming in our large garden either to plant or pluck vegetables, going to the cowshed and always attempting to touch the cows feeling all scared, moving our hands over their heads and horns and feeding them straws directly into their mouths, catching fish using traditional nets in the water filled paddy fields during rainy season, running in the brick-red-colored muddy lanes on a rainy day, going to the homes of fellow villagers and acquainting on their warm hospitality and sweetness, watching TV in a big hall crowded with all village men as if we are one big family, sitting in the kitchen at evening and listening to the humorous gossips of my grandmother and aunts, relishing on various savories and delicious foods prepared by my grandma, watching her cry at the time of our leaving after the vacation and feeling sad, enjoying the warmth of the people, living with content in their small mud houses – all those indelible moments were so hard to forget. It will take more than a lifetime to forget these beautiful memories I have spent in my village.
People living in the cities and in big towns can never experience such warmth and peace in their homes. Many people think what is there in a village – no infrastructure, no money, no opportunity, who will live in village. Purity of mind is there. Compassion is there. Humility is there. The attitude of sharing and caring is there in their hearts. People don’t deliberately cheat others. They don’t manipulate things. They don’t think only about themselves. Everyone lives a simple and peaceful life. They get up early in the morning, eat a simple healthy breakfast, go to work, come back in the evening, participate in the discussion of sacred texts like Gita, Bhagavata, Ramayana and then sleep peacefully. They don’t have much desires, that’s why they remain happy and cheerful.
However, I have seen so little of my village. Sadly the poison of politics entered and people got divided into many groups and parties. Money and wine followed and the once the good people of my village turned evil. Unfortunately this is the situation in my village and many others in that part. But some goodness is still present, latent in the hearts of people.
My father has watched my village and its life closely. He is welcome in every house. He is good with words and has a very warm and welcoming heart. Naturally, everyone likes him. Everyone invites him to dinner when we visit our village. I also accompany him. Everyone tells their story, what’s going on in their lives, the problems they face, everything.
One day, a thought came to my mind. I came to realize that all these things will become memories and no one will be there to remember or recount it. This world is advancing towards modernism so quickly that it will clean the slate of this beautiful past. Someone should narrate all these things otherwise they will become the ghosts of the past. Suddenly, I came to realize that nobody can describe my village better than my father. Most of the villagers are illiterate. My father had struggled hard to study and successfully became a well-respected English professor in an established college. No one has so closely observed the village life like him and he can translate those subtle emotions and feelings into beautiful words. So I gifted him a diary and asked to fill it with his words about our village. I asked him to narrate all the little things and moments, how he grew up and what does the village means to him. Actually I had asked him many times to write about it earlier, but as Newton law states, you have to apply force on a body to make it move :). I wondered perhaps having a diary by his side might give that push which can compel him to write. The plan worked and he is writing the dairy daily.
I will be thrilled the day when that diary will be complete. That day the diary won’t just be a mere document but a piece of treasure to our glorious past.
©2015 Amrit. All rights reserved.
Pic courtesy- Google