A few weeks back, one evening, while carrying some sacks of coconut on my head to the kitchen store of the restaurant for which I work, I thought about my village days. My father used to be so adamant that I must do everything by myself. He used to leave me at our ancestral home on weekends to take care of the farm. I used to spend a lot of time alone cleaning rubber sheets that had fungus or gathered coconuts, nut mugs, pineapples etc from the farm and carried on my head. He always used to leave the motorbike with me to go out and call autorickshaw to transport the coconut, pineapple or rubber sheets to the local store and do the sale. There were very few lucky Sundays that I could manage to finish work and return back home to watch the Malayalam film that started at 4 pm in television. Either I had to miss early morning Hindi film music program Rangoli or the evening Malayalam film, though I had an addiction for both. My Sundays had a disturbing end if by chance the electricity go off during my favourite program of the day, Surabhi at night 9.30 pm.
Though I hated the work at farm during my childhood, later I developed immense love for the art of agriculture. My stay away from home since the year 2000, never allowed me to have the same feel of soil and water again. But each time when I was at home on a holiday, my father made it a point to take me to the farm and get me involved in some activity. The agriculture scenario is not the same anymore as it was once. At those places where paddy or pineapples plants stood waving to the wind, there are concrete houses. I have seen this transformation in past ten years being an occasional visitor at my own land.
While carrying the sacks of coconut, I read the words written on that. “Made in Srilanka”. For a moment I was curious to know where there is any coconut exports from the land of coconut, Kerala. Producer to a consumer state- the transformation that is happening today could be an expensive scenario tomorrow. I must be blaming anyone including me for this. Where is that Arun who roamed around freely in the farm cutting pineapples and climbing nut mug trees? He had wounds on his hand caused by the thorny pineapple leaves. He always had sweat on his face. Last December before coming to UK, while I was at the village, I did climb a nut mug tree to the top chewing the flavour of its leaf.
With all my gains in life, I am sure I am missing a lot too… Yet in this journey of life, I have never came across anything better than watering a plant at the farm. Only for that feel, I do maintain a plant in my room wherever I stayed. There is a little money plant near my window that smile at me each time I sprinkle some water on her face.