Friday, May 13, 2011

A Summer Day's Idyllic Thoughts

I am staying at my wife's house in Pathinamthitta district, which
being a farmer's house, is somewhat basic in facilities and amenities.
There is no water. So water has to be drawn from a well at a lower
level and carried up a steep incline. I like to draw water from the
well, the clang of the pulley, the gush of water as it falls into a
bucket, and then the steep climb. I feel my muscles flex and the
tendons straining, good to keep the body flexible and in shape (though
I have the inherent Mallu paunch.).

I shave in the open, watch the cow being taken to graze in the field,
the playfulness of the hens and rooster. The rooster in our house is a
debonair guy. He has under his sway the hens of the neighbour, and he
rules his roost with a stern uprightness manifested by his red cap and
the red growth under his lowerjaw. He looks manly, sorry roosterly,
and he emphasises the fact by bullying the hens. He has to be forcibly
brought back home from the neighbour's brood.

The courtyard, where I spend most of my time, is filled with activity.
Insect - both deadly and harmless - abound, a gekko runs tentatively
towards me and backs away. There's the smell of ripe jackfruit under
the tree where I sit. Light and shade play on me as I write this. The
dog house is being used as the chicken coop as there is no dog. Sound
travels from the opposite bank across the rice fields, fallow lands
now leached and left uncultivated. A new house is being built since
the old one is crumbling and the smell of freshly sawed wood hangs
about the place.

There is imperfection (as far as I am concerned, but I make do with
some adroit adjustments) and still perfection as only a local can
bring about. For a city dweller all this is fun and for the local it
is sort of routine.

Today I am going to my house which is in Kidangannoor (now rented
out), a remote area which is looking up with the announcement of the
Aranmula International Airport. Land cost is shooting up, the rice
fields are being converted into the longest runway in the country. A
sleepy village will transform in a few years into a bustling airport.
Modernity will touch the countryside. Already the rural areas resound
(no, not with the panchavadyam of temples) but by the noise of cricket
scores and Malayalam movies, broadcast 24-hour.

1 comment:

ms said...

how i envy you! very well written, very descriptive. you are so lucky to have an opportunity to experience this pure and uncommercialised village life. the very thought of how changed my ancestral village is stops me from visiting it. i don't want to be woken up by raucous invocations to gods at 4am on loudspeakers or go to sleep with movie songs braying from paan shops and election vans. i hear that the wells have been replaced by overhead and underground tanks, tv aerials and telecom towers grace the horizon. what a pity.