My Village Experience

Hathiyahi, Khajauli

My Grandparent’s place

The last time I went to my village was in 10th grade to attend a relative’s wedding. All throughout high school and 3 years of college I did not get a chance to go there until the pandemic happened and now, I am in my final year of college. So, it’s technically 5 years since I last went there. If you ask me what’s the best and worst thing I’ve noticed this time; I would say, “Nothing has changed” for both the questions.

My village is a typical one, gravel road, public transport only till the nearest sub-city, thereafter you’re on your own or you need to ask your relatives to pick you up, there’s electricity outage every now and then, farming is the primary occupation, almost zero restaurants but maybe a small Dhaba or independent food sellers selling eateries like Pakoda, Fofi, Kachri, and the likes, the running water has a lot of iron in it, bad phone network and no internet (obviously). There’s also an old temple that has a Shivalinga which is believed to grow in size every year, it also has a small legend associated with it and I bet majority of the villages in the Indian-Subcontinent would have something similar to this.

Surprisingly enough, I loved it there. Maybe I didn’t stay there long enough to actually get accustomed to the life there but going there from a more-or-less developed city I expected myself to feel some discomfort. I thought I would want to run away asap, especially because there was no internet. On the contrary I wanted to stay there a little more when I was about to leave. Maybe because I had not really lived with my grandparents before and I wanted to spend some time with them. It wasn’t like they used to talk a lot with me but the sheer fact that I was in their presence and I could observe them daily doing their day to day chores was mesmerizing to me.

I explored the village also a little bit, which is where I captured a couple of pictures shown below. Children over here have govt. education till 10th standard and have to go to the sub-city to pursue further education. Although underage and without driving license, most of them know how to ride a motorcycle. Teenagers are comparatively more sharp (in terms of survival skills) compared to the modern day teenager. As already mentioned, the primary occupation over here is farming, to add to that almost every home in the village has some cattle, mostly cows because they not only give milk for the nourishment of the children but can also be used to plow their fields in agriculture. There’s a railway track nearby and everyone can recognize each and every train that passes through, even children. Retired people assemble in a small check post near the railway track and hangout while the youngsters are busy in their work. The females maintain the household, take care of the cattle and children. There is no concept of gender equality and equal rights. Everyone knows their role in a family and they happily carry out their part. Something rather unusual is that men in village help their significant others in domestic work (like bathing the children, bringing home groceries, feeding the cattle & children and most of them know how to cook), without being asked to, they naturally volunteer; unlike men in the metro cities where they need to be reminded every time for trivial stuff, which makes me question whether you would call this place underdeveloped!

Yes, almost every family believes in education of their child and that their children will help them get out of village and they no longer need to sustain on agriculture to maintain their livelihood. This is similar to grass being greener on the other side. It does make sense though why they think like that, there is lack of proper education and healthcare facilities. Say someone is pregnant and they need to avail a doctor, to make the matters even worse a cesarean has to be performed and now they need to travel to the sub-city with her being in that condition. On the contrary, a metro guy would think, living in village is so much fun, no pollution and close to nature, away from the busy traffic in peace. Well, this is why everything in life is relative.

All of what I said above are things what you’d observe from the outside. But if you look at the conversations people have, you’ll hardly see anything different. People backbite about each other to someone else, they complain about how bad they’ve been treated by their elders or how uncultured their younger ones have become, they talk about certain events like marriages and their youth. They conspire against their own fellow men either by taking side of the one’s “closer to them” (i.e by blood or by who has supported them financially in the past or by who can help them in the coming future). There are moments of joy though, when a relative comes to visit and when they’re about to depart are two instances when people generally talk only about good stuff, like their good memories, their marriage, first child and nostalgia. It’s when those relative stay for sometime, they get to hear all the bitching. Isn’t that a nice thing though? Seriously, they consider their relatives to be close enough to share all their pain with them so that their wounds heal and they’re less hurt. It’s a way they heal from the bruises of life and call me a freak but, I just see innocence in them and it’s beautiful.

So, if you take out the materialistic things in life, you’ll see that the nature of humans doesn’t really change and there is no real difference between lives of a human living in a city vs a village. Of course, everyone has their subjective opinions but looking from an objective view point, it’s just the same. So, the moments that actually are of some value just birth & death? and our entire is life is a meaningless? Well, time can answer that for you.

But if you really want an answer, here it is: Yes, life is meaningless. There is no inherent meaning in life. What is the point of it all then? (you may ask) The point of life is to procreate. Okay then tell me, what the best thing about life? (this although is a subjective question but has an objective answer)? The best thing about life is having your own children. (Call this bullshit but you won’t know until you have one) What if you’re impotent? If you have the courage (to actually love and raise someone else’s child) adopt; but if you can’t; go help the one(s) in need. Don’t just read it and think you understand, actually try it and feel it. This is something even people who’re not married can try out. You’re biggest achievement will feel beneath the feeling you’ll get from this. This is because you’re not only a creation but the source of creation. If you’re unable to do that, this is the best substitute.

Let’s keep things simple.

p.s These answers are with respect to objective view point and of course you can have subjective answers as per your viewpoint but if you look at the grand scheme of things, thinking yourself as Earth, this will make sense.

By the way, here’s something fascinating to watch:

Credits: Michael Rogge via YouTube


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