Travel blogs


I’m not a travel freak. In fact, I’d prefer, if not anything else, not to travel at all. But sometimes, you’re not exactly given a choice. Once in a while, I am grateful for this insufficiency.

I’ve decided to share some of my experiences traveling because I’ve learned a ton outside of my home. While I’d like any day to sit at home with a storybook and some curd rice, I have to admit that traveling has been quite the experience for me every now and then.

Hence, my first excerpt – The farm.

Grass, coconuts, and dung

With obvious sluggishness written on my face, I loaded the bags onto the rear of the car and got on. Although I was to travel to the farm with many of our friends’ families, I wasn’t particularly thrilled about the idea of leaving home for two days. We were going to a farm that one of my mom’s friends owned. It was located on the outskirts of our city.

On reaching the place, I looked around. They had an amazing farmhouse and a large field where they grew paddy and other crops depending on the season. The first day passed with us taking a stroll around the place, learning new things about the seasonal nature of crops, and eating the incredible biryani that aunty made. That evening, as I was running around with the doggos, I passed by the outhouse beside which we’d parked all the vehicles. Two young girls who looked around my age were doing something outside it. What I didn’t know then was how big an impact they were about to make on me.

Dusk was fast approaching. While we were sitting on the balcony, I was asked to sing everyone a song. As I was turned away from the door, I didn’t notice the girls come in. They stayed and listened through the entire song, and then enthusiastically complimented me afterward. Flattered, I followed them out the door as they walked back to their house. I was enraptured by a sequence of things about them, namely how perfectly thin they were, how they could do so many things being so young, among others. I mean, the girls knew how to work a tractor!

‘No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another’ – Charles Dickens

The second day of our stay at the farm was the younger girl’s birthday. I had a pair of new earrings that I’d gotten on the trip. I didn’t think twice about giving them to her. After all, we’d talked through the previous evening, and I’d found myself fast friends. That afternoon, as I descended the rung of steps, I noticed the younger girl starting the scooter, and asked her where she was going. She said she was going out to get some eggs. I asked her if I could come with, and posthaste, we were traversing unweathered rural roads with the wind smack on our faces.

I asked her many things on the way to the egg store. “Aren’t you afraid of going such a big distance all by yourself?” She shook her head no. “This is my home, why would I be afraid? I know my townsfolk, they know me too.” I wished that the city could be just as safe too. These small villages were a closely-knit family, and the inhabitants were lucky to be part of it, whether they realized it or not. “Have you been anywhere in the city?” She shook her head again. “I’ve been to the other villages around my area, but never into the big city.” I was slowly amusing myself, but I didn’t want to leave this small farm town. That’s what traveling did to me sometimes; I didn’t want to come, but if I loved it, I didn’t want to go.

On reaching a tiny shrubbery, I was asked to get off the bike – we couldn’t use the bike anymore. I realized that the egg store was in fact not a store at all – one of the women living in the town grew chicken, and she sold her eggs to get extra income for herself. I watched captivated as the girl and the woman had an animated conversation, and the end result of this was two dozen eggs. The girl said she’d give the woman her money at the end of the month, and we left. Everyone in and around the place had eyed me curiously. They had been so nice to someone they hardly knew. They offered me something to eat even though they didn’t know whether they’d have anything on their plate for their next meal.

Back at the farmhouse, I was feeling light. Somehow, these modest people had taught me something no lesson could. They were more than happy with what they had. And they stayed with each other through it all. Selflessness and the ability to be content were something urban people could perhaps only strive for. I mean, less the luxury, more the value. If you’re given too many choices, you end up exercising none – you only want that fifth choice that isn’t an option. But if you have ONE choice, you use that to the best of your abilities. As I cycled down the same path that evening, I reflected upon these things. I smiled at the people I had befriended that day – my friends were surprised.

How had I made friends so easily? The answer was that there is nothing called ‘making friends’. That’s bogus. Friendships are formed simply with a hello or a smile. That foundation can only be laid when people put their separateness apart. And this, I learned from my friends at the farm. I didn’t want to leave them the next day – I didn’t want to depart from Anandi and Subbu, our dog buddies, from the routine coconut water breaks, and from the candor that less choice presented. The interesting thing is that travel did that to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *