My village is dead

My village is dead

Yokes and ploughs, and bullocks and cows were the essentials of the middle-class households like mine until twenty years ago.

Yokes and ploughs, and bullocks and cows were the essentials of the middle-class households like mine until twenty years ago. I grew up enjoying the scenes of our paddy fields being ploughed with bullocks yoked together and playing in the wet and muddy fields with other children.

The smell of ploughed fields, the smell of harvest and the smell of the harvested paddy and hay were indicators of a healthy and self- sufficient village life. Agrarian village life was a symbiotic and sustainable one as it was closely knit with the life of the local flora and fauna.

Last year, after I shifted my personal library to my new-built home, I suddenly felt that I should keep in my new home the yoke and plough of our family as priceless antiques and I went to my ancestral home and searched for them in the defunct cowshed.

I could find only the yoke. The plough and the four wooden poles that used to put through the holes of the yoke on both sides of the necks of the bullocks could not be found. I brought the bare yoke home and kept it near my bookshelf.

The bullocks on whose necks the yoke was put were gone, the agricultural labourers who ploughed our fields using this yoke were gone, my father under whose supervision the carpenters made the yoke was gone and of course the carpenters too were gone.

Today no carpenter in our village knows how to make yokes and ploughs and our village doesn't need them either. Ploughing, sowing, weeding and harvesting which were once the heartthrobs of the village are today unheard things in the village!

Suddenly I felt to visit the interior of my village where we used to play in the summer vacations on the endless paddy fields. The harvested paddy fields were our playgrounds. In the southern end of the paddy fields, there was a creek in which we used to play at noon.

There was a big rock and the creek created even a little waterfall while crossing the rock. I decided to at least see the creek and the adjacent fields and one evening walked down my memory lane.

Alas what terrible sights I had to see! The mud road on which we played is now a tarred road. The endless paddy fields which stretched to the horizon on both side are now coconut and areca nut groves. I walked ahead towards the creek.

Where is the creek? Where is the rock? The place of the rock is usurped by the road and the creek is confined to a ditch. My village is dead and my heart aches with insufferable pain.

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