Hello and a postcard from life in the village

Hello everyone! Belated Happy New Year and hope this year brings all that you ever wished for! I’ve just been lurking in the background and taking comfort in reading all the wonderful reminiscences of the year gone by across blogs. But, the urge to  compose a post and greet you all with pleasant pictures was just lacking; until now! Hopefully this post will give the much-needed impetus.

How did you all spend the X’mas holidays and ring in the New Year?  We spent the winter holidays in the comfort of my in-laws’ home in a small village called Natherdunga in West Bengal. This village is home to about 150 families and represents rural India in every sense. 55 kms away from the nearest town, Bankura and over 200 kms from Kolkata; a village where the nearest bus stop is over two kms away by foot and where drainage, public sanitation and water supply are unheard of.  Of course, a handful of houses, have constructed toilets and installed motors to draw water. But, that’s an exception and not the norm.

On either side of the village lies fields until your eyes can see (of course, that also means one has to watch their step every inch for you know what, if you are out for a morning walk). And, isn’t it fun when the lanes ought to be shared with the cute duckies and some not-so-nice charging bulls ? But, the fields are not like the ones you see in Punjab or Tamil Nadu with good irrigation systems.  The fields lie barren for half the year as they are dependent on rain for water. There are ponds for different purposes – washing utensils, bathing (separate for women and men), and  for your other daily needs. We spend a fortnight every six months in the village and every trip makes us feel alive and happy. Satisfied!

When resources are minimum, you learn the most. The kids in the village taught me that there was no better place to learn life skills.  See, every year on 31st Dec, they have a concept of picnic wherein a few kids collect money (Rs.10 is lot) from each house, go to the nearest pond, cook by themselves (using bricks and leaves for fire), play the whole day and return home. I went to one such picnic and was amazed to see the puris made.

I’ve no idea why I am writing about it in this blog? Perhaps, because I’ve come back from a vacation recharged. With a little effort, I believe we can make our urban world as carefree and a likeable place. Learn to value the things we have. I’m a big fan of Zen Habits and believe that every change has to begin from within. I can’t remember the last time I made resolutions on a New Year and this year is no different. But, there’s one trait I would like to practice day after day – mindfulness. What’s on top of your list?

 Leaving you with a few pictures …

See you tomorrow with the Friday shopping post.

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