L is for Luxuriant Countryside

January 2012, Ganaili Village, Munger, Bihar, India

I’m addicted to nature. Living a natural and organic life are my mantra. I’m guessing, by now you want to whack me on the head for going on and on about it (that’s if you’ve been following my blog)! So let’s  get straight to the story.

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In the winsome winter of 2011, we travelled to the DH’s ancestral home. Ganaili is a modest little village tucked in the interiors of Bihar. We undertook an exciting 1 day long train journey to the nearest railhead, Sultanganj, followed by a 10 kms drive to our destination. This charming little village with it’s winding little kutcha roads (a track made of mud formed due to continuous usage) greeted us with unbridled warmth. We could see unending expanses of harvested rice fields, and pockets where cauliflower, radish and other vegetables grew in abundance. Mango and Litchi orchards were aplenty too. It would definitely be a sight to behold for the city bred. For me this felt like home, as I had grown up in such luxuriant green climes in Pantnagar University.

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There was barely any electricity most of the time. It was winters so we survived. But it was fascinating to use the old world lantern with the flickering blue flame cocooned in the glass holder with a wick that drew kerosene from it’s receptacle. We have used those during our power cuts in Pantnagar, sometimes lasting over 24 hours when a storm would wreak havoc. Those kerosene lanterns with their little flames were just good enough light a tiny wee-bit of their surroundings. While rest of the home would be plunged in darkness. It took me back memory lane. We would sit gazing at the billion stars in the night sky while my mother-in-law would deftly roast mounds of littis (roundles of wheat stuffed with a spicy filling) on the mud chulaha (stove) by burning the goitha (dried cow dung cakes, used as fuel in villages). The smell wafted across the courtyard filling our senses and sending our taste buds on an over drive. Later after our bellies were full and we were satiated beyond imagination, we sat toasting our hands and feet against the Chulaha, the orange coal flickering like fireflies, almost ready to die out by then. Later we would go snuggle into the thick fat razais (quilts made of cotton) and fall asleep dreaming of the next days trysts.

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An Ariel image from Google Earth of Ganaili

The 18 year old was then barely 12. She along with  cousin would go lie on the hay stack all day, listening to the sounds of nature and when they got bored they would plug into their ipods, and fall asleep.  The younger one, who was 2 on the other hand had become the apple of everyone’s eye. She would prance around in the courtyard with the cat or dwaddle around the neighbourhood, petting goats and their ilk.

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Those 5 days seem to get over in a jiffy and when it was time to leave my heart was heavy, yet my sprit rejuvenated. I began to contemplate, “I’m so used to the amenities of the city I live in, yet when I am one with nature and the simple, small countryside, I become one with myself and I discover my being. There is a certain pleasure in nothingness, in the very basics that life has to offer, not in unlimited luxuries always.

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Today if someone were to ask me if I would  prefer to live in a city or by the countryside, I would be torn. I love the quite, laid back countryside life, the abundant amount of fresh food produce, the air that is 100% pure minus any life threatening pollutants and the pure souls who inhabit there. Yet I would miss the city buzz, the amenities at the press of a button, the friend circle, the eateries, the theatre, the art and culture. Well, I will cross the bridge when I come to it. For now I will relish the best of both the worlds.

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My theme for this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge is Travel Epiphanies that are my very own tales of adventure and revelation. I will be writing 26 posts throughout the month of April. You can read my theme here.

23 comments on “{L} is for Luxuriant Countryside : #AtoZChallenge”

  1. Ah the serenity of the countryside. I’ve always been a city girl but 6 months ago, I moved to a smaller town. It’s not really the ‘countryside’ but it’s not a big bustling city and I’m enjoying it. It’s more of a coastal town as I love the water but I can see the appeal of living in the country.

  2. I love being able to escape to the countryside when I need to. Not sure I could live there though. However, if I were near enough a city/town where I could get everything I needed, then perhaps I could make a go of it.

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