Surely I miss a million things. And since today also happens to be the 600th consecutive day away from home (2nd summer without home Mangoes, damn.), so a little tribute to every loving thing about there.
1. Philosophy of frugal Some of us, children of urban India, might not be exactly living up to it; but I think the heart of the country still lies in its natural way of living. Living with less things by choice.
Whether it be in doing science or living, many people find the minimalist approach still agreeable.What a contradiction to the otherwise urbanizing planet!
[I personally might not be so frugal, but definitely have inspiring friends who are so much so!]
2. The little fixes You find a cobbler, a tailor, a carpenter just around the corner (Of course since we are so many people!)… for doing lil fixes for you for a myriad of things. So if something is broken you don’t throw it away, you could fix it.
3. Food Once you step out of the country, whether you learn to do anything else or not, you definitely learn to cook. And however choosy one might have been about food back home, any Indian food is equivalent to heaven outside.
One might not just miss the variety of vegetables and fruits available at local markets everyday, but also the street food and the tea stalls and juice stalls everywhere.
In countries with less vegetation,vegetables tend to be costlier than finished industrial products and you realize how nice it was the other way round back home. Also generally food is not just cooked for the family members, but also for the cow who sits under the shade of the tree opposite to home and also the old lady with her goat and for all the neighbors who enjoy that dish cooked by mother.
Ya, times are changing in the urban world, but there might still be a glimpse of those times at some places.
4. Mangoes Well, mangoes definitely fall into a whole another category of the things that are missed. We can bear the wrath of the sun for the sweet fruit that comes during the season. Everything that we eat would be accompanied by mango in some form [mango slices, mango juice, mango milk-shake, mango shrikhand, mango icecream, mango pickle.. ]. Mangoes which add fragrance to the whole house as soon as they arrive and dominate the food market for 2 months. [Could recommend a trip to Gujarat in May just for the mangoes!]
5. Everyday wisdom Everyone is a philosopher there.You find life lessons and wisdom from the vegetable vendor or the milkman or the auto-rickshaw driver uncle who brings children from school to home. Surely, everyone has something to say and listen..
6. Travels Trains are the best way to explore and travel the country. Super economic, if you travel in Sleeper class, (well, economic even if you travel in air-conditioned coaches) Though it might be hard to always get a ticket due to the rush, but long journeys in sleeper class generally end up in making new friends and sharing stories.. You could also sit on the compartment doors and enjoy the view, wait for a particular station to eat the local delicacy or call a friend to bring you home food at that station..
7. Shopping Its so much easier to find stuff of one’s choice given the variety of things in markets.. To give a faint idea, one might find a whole bazaar just full of shops selling bangles (an accessory for wrist), each shop maybe selling bangles of a particular kind and how people would navigate to the exact shop to find the things. 😉 And shopping wont be complete without visiting the lemon juice stalls and chana-chor-garam vendor in the bazaar.
8. Myriad colors of life Given the abundance of natural resources in terms of agricultural land and the resulting flora and fauna, we find a million shades of life too.. manifested as diversity in languages ,food,clothing, dances , customs.. and everything else..
a bow to the land from far far away..!
[photos clicked by Ruts/Sharz/me during our different trips around.. ]