Tech Free Life
There are few people in this world who will find the shrill voice of a kid goat pleasant and sweetâ€¦ one of them is my better half who cherishes such early morning yelling of the said creature along with his kid-lamb friend. Incidentally I have named them Nishad and Ishad khan (no disrespect of the original placeholders). Forgot to mention that there’s a small cow-shed next to my house which also holds a new born calf. A kid takes care of him and every morning he is left in my neighbors field with a long rope â€¦ he again has a liberal friend who roams without a ropeâ€¦ the most amazing is their baritone voice which is utterly dis-proportionate to their size â€¦ one of them I have named Debarata while the other Bhimsen . the good thing is their hi-hello starts quite late in the morning â€¦ We also have a flock of Red Billed Chough’s (same family as Alpine Chough’s ( black crow sized birds with orange beak) who sometimes takes offense to these creatures and make a terrible noise to scare them .. both Nishad and Ishad emits shrieking sounds to the top of their capacity â€¦ while our cats run here and thereâ€¦ a real cacophony – animal kingdom rules here with so many talents under the sunâ€¦
Meanwhile after the landslide the supply line got disrupted and we were left with local produceâ€¦ mainly radish, cabbage and potatoâ€¦ apart from rice and dalâ€¦ creativity took precedence and innovation was at its peak with seventeen varieties of radish â€¦ boiled, steamed with mustard, diced with hing.. to mention a fewâ€¦ the important thing to mention here is we never preferred this white vegetable which often contributes something unwanted most of the time The best part was boiled dal with rice â€¦ more than the taste the preference can be attributed to the warm comfort it provided to the chilled fingers ! Breakfast was maggi, maggi and maggi with rare exception of eggs added to one or two sessionsâ€¦ Sitting in the sun is a luxury with tea, biscuits, ciggy and my Nikon.. the camera turns me into a botanist and sometimes into an ornithologistâ€¦. many diff birds safe from the distant civilization flock to this part of the world.. I have a dream that some day I will have the honor of accompanying my friend Basudev to some distant waterfall and sit their all day watching this amazing species while taking notes and pictureâ€¦ maybe we will be dressed as trees â€¦ but not for any kargil war! While sometimes I just sit on the sun and watch clouds floating byâ€¦ at other times try to interpret the deep throated conversation of the two calves from two sides of the field â€¦
The recent snowfall have contributed much to the misery of the local folk with all the crops bowing down to the white unwanted gift from the heavensâ€¦ the local deity was taken out and worshipped in places â€¦ two lambs sacrificed to halt the snow and it worked ! With roads cut off the village has gone back 100 years and is now self dependent minus the Thikedar’s who introduce modern amenities and productsâ€¦. I have noticed that Kure Kure has a better penetration than education in India ! Even the kids in the remotest village got the taste of center-fresh and kurkure much before they learned the alphabetsâ€¦ Our regular visitor is our landlady who makes sure to carry something or the other when she comesâ€¦ she commented the other day that we must have done something very good in our past life so that we got the opportunity to relax here and do nothing but cook and eat all day ! Inspite of half their crop gone wasted and apples (the main cash crop) damaged..she makes sure to share either potato or radish or sometimes chilta – the local breadâ€¦ my barter goes on and in exchange of flask, hotbox, rubber shoes, torch I have negotiated enough apple liquor to pull me thru winterâ€¦ her day starts at six in the morning with cooking for the family .. and then a whole day trip to the field to tend to the crops – clear weeds, till the soil, run water from the streams.. evening she returns exhausted.. with a load od dry branches for the family fireâ€¦. sometimes drenched in rain â€¦ and then cooks for the family againâ€¦ Nishad and Ishad are her constant companion and they look at her as their motherâ€¦ with both their sons out of the townâ€¦ its a tough call with cows, crop and house work!
We are fineâ€¦ the power-cut provided a window to tech-free life as also the landslide and road block reduced supplies to bare necessitiesâ€¦ managed a brush and black ink â€¦ the closeness to China prompted me to try out some water color in chinese style.. in memory of my wonderful days in Beijing where i got the option to see masters in practice and learnt a few things from themâ€¦!