As I said last week, my words seem to have run away from me. I’m trying hard to get into the rhythm of holding on to them as they flit past me, dancing and teasing.

After much deliberation, I have decided to write a series of posts on gratitude. In a way, no other topic is easier to write on but that.

For a while, I will write posts which ramble all over the place. Chatty posts, sometimes interspersed with a thought that caught my attention, sometimes embedded with an epiphany that turned things around for me—even if it was a few nano-millimetres. 

As some of you know, I now live in the village—and I love it. I do. This is a dream come true—the most audacious dream I have ever dreamed.

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. ~Robert Brault Share on X

I guess I was always a village girl at heart. Now that I have found my niche, I couldn’t be happier.

I love the people. More than that, I love how everyone knows everyone. I live a stone’s throw away from a major (er… only) tourist attraction of my city. There is quite a bit of traffic on the road that snakes past my house, especially in the evenings. 

But in the past month, I have learned to identify those who belong to the village. There is none of the nonsense here about losing touch with someone because you forgot to take their mobile number. If you are a tad bit patient, you’ll soon see them ambling past your house.

“Ah, there you are!” you’ll say to them as you hail them. And that would be that. Imagine the accessibility!

But… and here comes the fly. This easy access might be pretty dandy in some circumstances but it comes with a price—didn’t you just know it?

Since everyone knows everyone, and you are the outsider, any interaction you have with the village folk is bound to be broadcast all over the village. Even as we began with the house construction, those in the village knew who we were and what we were about. A bit unnerving, I confess.

If your interaction with the villagers is pleasant, it might not gather additional spice as it passes from one mouth to another ear. But if it is not, heaven help you! Your deeds shall go viral and new exaggerations would be added with each telling. Oh, well! It will be as it will be. 

In the cool moments of dawn, I can hear the roar of the waterfall as I lie in bed. Come daytime, the place is alive with bird-song which goes on with unabated gusto all day. Even with that din, if I step out of the house and walk to the compound gate, I can hear the waterfall. The breeze that blows wisps of hair into my eyes (isn’t that SO annoying!), comes laden with the distinctive fragrance of the water. And I wonder afresh how I got so lucky!

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W. T. Purkiser Share on X

I have four mature neem trees on my property. There was also an assortment of other trees, native to the village. Some I have had removed, some have been pruned. The soil has been prepped and awaits a bunch of new saplings. This IS the monsoon after all—the season to plant trees!

I am not sure if the spice trees will survive here—cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, black pepper, maybe even cloves. In any case, I plan to plant them and hope for the best.

The one fruit I have always loved and craved (it hardly ever finds its way here), is apricots. I love pears too and we don’t get very good quality pears in my city either. Imagine harvesting fresh oranges and sweet limes from your own backyard! To say nothing of mangoes, guavas, mulberries, bel, amla, papayas and pomegranates! Boy oh boy! I want it all yesterday!

That reminds me, I must save a karonda seed from the lot I bought at the veggie market today. In a year or two, I’ll have my own karonda bush to pluck the tart fruit from!

And the vegetables! Anything that can be grown in my climate, will be grown. I bought herb seeds in anticipation, months ago. Oregano, thyme, rosemary and Italian basil. I wonder how many of them will take root. Sigh…!

Don’t you LOVE fresh coriander and mint? We’ve already planted the turmeric and lots of green chillies—some of which will be allowed to become red to be dried and powdered for the whole year. In one part of the property, I plan to sow some groundnuts too. I wonder if we’ll get a good crop! Today we’re going to plant some green gram (moong) on the section where we’ve been growing wheat for the past two years.

And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart:
Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.

~ Khalil Gibran

I never thought so before, but now I am beginning to wonder if we can meet eighty percent of our food requirements from our farm. Hmm… this needs investigation—which is a euphemism for the humbler wait and watch! 

Or is eighty per cent too ambitious a figure? Maybe sixty per cent then? Surely that is feasible? I wish I could fast forward to 2022. I’m sure you wish so too. At least we’ll be rid of this terrible corona by then… and hopefully not be infested with anything worse. The way China is manufacturing viruses though, there seems a slim chance of that. 🙁

In the next two years, do you think the world will become a kinder, more cohesive place? Do you think China might stop being such an irresponsible ass?

Anything is possible, isn’t it? What do you think will happen in the next two years—globally, nationally and for you personally? What do you WISH will happen?

Let your imagination soar, what have you got to lose?