Living in the country side

In India (and most of Asia), country side has 2 meanings – 1. Rural villages, 2. Lonely farmlands. Villages offer a close knit community where every knows and watches you. Lonely farmlands offer ample of solitude and nature.

We relocated to a lonely country side a few years back. Till then, I have lived in many cities across countries. I had always dreamed of living in the country side. Yet, nothing had prepared me for the real country side. Life in the country side is completely different from city life. From small aspects like cleaning and shopping, to financial and economic aspects, my entire view of life has undergone a drastic change.

Farmland 2

At first, beautiful scenery and wide open spaces were mesmerizing. Once I got used to the landscape, the next thing that caught my attention was the variety of life around – lush farmlands, cattle, goats, hens, dogs, and a wide array of birds.

Then we updated our modest little home into a spacious cottage. I spent a wonderful time exploring the world of Eco-friendly materials and design of open spaces.

Living in wide open spaces gives one the opportunity to read nature. Passage of seasons is beautiful and rhythmic. Everything in Nature, from soil to animals and birds are aware of the change in seasons. They change beautifully and adapt graciously to nature’s ways.

It is only us humans who find it difficult to adapt. Living far away from civilization presents a whole host of difficulties. Adapting graciously to this place has been a constant challenge.

The nearest grocery store is at least 6 km away. If I run out of sugar or salt mid way during cooking, I cannot buy supplies immediately. So, I have to keep tabs on my grocery usage and buy well in advance.

On the other side, the generosity of open spaces is over whelming. If I take a walk, I mostly return home with something to cook. In the rainy season, we get a never ending supply of wild mushrooms. In addition, there are plenty of beans, greens, curry leaves, coriander, yam, sweet potato etc growing around. Farmers around are generous and share their harvest easily.

It is easier to stay fit and active in the countryside. Reason being, you end up doing all the work around the house! Garbage disposal is a multi step process. You segregate your wastes, bury kitchen wastes, pack all plastic wastes and take them out to the trash can in the nearest town, burn dry leaves, paper wastes etc. We do minor plumbing, wiring and repair works, modifications around the house. It does sound like a lot of work.. Is this not enough to keep one fit and active?

The best advantage of living in the country side is about cutting down on unwanted spending. We do not get lured by window shopping. Clothes are brought when they are needed, not when the store has a sale. We rarely eat fast food, instead cook up snacks more often at home. We buy furniture after months of searching for the design and price we have in mind. Online shopping is difficult as home delivery is not available to remote farmlands.

Farmland 1

When spending decreases, savings increase. So we could afford frequent trips and explore places. No impulsive purchases during our trips.. except when the travel destination offers something that we need.., at a better price or quality.

Every minute is quality time spent with family. Views and scenery are beautiful. Life is slow and peaceful. I have become a different person since I started living in the wide open country side.

I am at peace now.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

A simple mind

I got acquainted with a bunch of ladies and women. This is the very first time I have been fortunate to being among such simple women folk. Their community is among the most oppressed and downtrodden communities in India. Yet, their womenfolk are amazing.

They have been working from time immemorial… Watching them balance house hold work and their livelihood work is exciting. Their physical strength and stamina is impressive. A majority of their menfolk can cook and look after themselves and their houses. Men and women have equal say in their community. Women voice their opinions with gusto and confidence.

Difference of opinion between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is a rarity among them. I am yet to hear of families that have arguments or quarrels among women folk.

dalit

Image source: Multinivasi organiser

The most amazing attitude is their simplicity and innocence. They do not form opinions of others. They live life as per their own individual wish. There are two brothers in one of the families. While one works hard, sticks to a consistent job and is responsible in his family duties, the other works only on days when he feels like working, hates sticking to one job, spends a lot on thrifty things, and hardly contributes money to household expenses. The brothers do not have much of a respect for each other, but neither do they have any difference of opinions. They are good friends and spend quality time with the same bunch of friends whom they hang out with.

There is one other family where the daughter-in-law and mother-in-law are of different and contradicting natures. Yet they stay together and lead a perfectly normal family. While the mother-in-law is fond of spending and giving away hard earned money, the daughter-in-law tries to keep the family’s earnings safe. Yet they do not argue or talk about each other.

These people hardly ever form opinions of others. They can accept people as they are without judging anyone’s vices. They talk about others in a matter-of-fact way, and not in an emotional or victimised voice. This simple mind helps them focus on their life, without bothering about others.

Though it seems practically impossible, I am seeing it happen right in front of my eyes!