Visiting Hometown is Always a Blessing
It has been exactly 15 years that I have been caught in the web of capitalism and been staying away from my family, my village, my people. Been caught in the fallacy of “Earning more and living happy.” Have been living in the metropolitan city, studied right to get a job, got a job, married a city girl and now have a lovely daughter currently 6 years old.
The tradition of ours of visiting our village, hometown twice a year helps in connecting to our traditions, family and culture. Most of all I do it for my daughter, our relationship. The happiness that I see in her when she listens to fairy tales, stories, myths from her grandmother, which I too used to hear from her is priceless.
The first thing that I experience when I reach my hometown is the fresh air and the nostalgic aroma of the soil.
You start hearing things that you had forgotten existed – fresh breeze, the melancholy of voices of animals, the bells of the temple. Everything is so clear. You have time for yourself, experience in a real sense. Getting away from technology, hustle and bustle of the city in itself is an enlightening experience. Furthermore, you experience humanity. You meet real people. They would help you, care about you without any hidden intentions.
We are a huge family of aunts and uncles, extended aunts and uncles, cousins. A new entrant in the scheme of things shifts the equilibrium to an excited mode. India is a land of abundance you’d realize once you have a countryside experience. The welcome drink is a huge metal glass of freshly brewed lassi.
People start gathering as the word of our arrival spreads. With a genuine concern they talk if we’re happy, the trip was comfortable and many more questions. Their simplicity makes you question we people know so much, understand things but have such an unstable mind. The food follows and the taste is so fresh, with the vegetables plucked moments before they are cooked. No adulteration – in the food, surroundings and the people. Although you do eat much more than your usual diet, the hosts keep pushing you to eat more and more.
I carry my daughter on my shoulders the way my father used to carry me. With the excitement of a kid I unveil my childhood to her – where I used to play marbles, the brook where I used to spend the whole day, my school, the temple. With all the relatives we go to the tube well which is used to irrigate the fields but more so it is the perfect relaxing point. With fresh water flowing through and the people sitting with their feet submerged in the water tank, laughter echoes the surroundings. Chewing the sugarcane throughout the conversation, anyone could sit for hours and discuss anything and go on and on.
The traditions are guarded and followed as they have been for generations. Baisakhi is a very big festival at my place being the festival of harvest where the day starts in the Gurudwara thanking the Almighty for everything. The day follows with the selling of the produce in the market and a feast in the night. Every festival is celebrated without any distinction of religion, caste, creed and is celebrated by each and every one.
We are living so far away from our native villages and towns, and our soul craves for such experiences. There are professionally organized farmstays near your city. The distance would be small but the experience would be amazing. Other than the benefits for you as a traveler, you would be helping a farmer not commit suicide and earn a respectable living for his family. Deep, isn’t it? So, just pack your backpack and leave.
-Experience shared by Mr Kulranjan Singh