Every year, I make a quick trip to my native village to attend some family function or the other. Each time, the experience is refreshing. There is a stark difference in the lifestyle and people’s nature between a city and a village.
One of my uncles turned 60. It’s a custom that a 60th birthday is celebrated like a wedding and you sure know how an Indian Wedding is like! My uncle also is a descendent of a “Guru” family. That made it even more special with all his disciples visiting to pay respects. It was grand. When I say grand, my scale is not the money. But it’s the enthusiasm, simplicity and respect for each other that was surrounding the whole place. I will always be enquired by someone in the village that I may not recognize but they know everything about me. If I was sick four months ago, they would know that and they will not forget to check how I am doing now. Here in the city, half of the people don’t even know who their neighbour is.
While I was there, there was this sense of security that I could never get in a city. People leave their kids freely on the roads not worrying about anything as they know someone will always watch out for their kids. People are not afraid to question and stand up and fight if they see anything suspicious. Here in the city, we don’t feel safe to send our kids out of the gated community until they grow up.
Just behind uncle’s house in my village, there is a river flowing. So it is not very uncommon to see snakes slithering in a corner of the house. Just the day before I went, a 6 foot cobra was found in our uncle’s place and guess what? They did not kill the snake. They just shoo-ed it away. They don’t kill scorpions either. But here in the city, we kill the cockroaches and chase away a baby lizard screaming like Bruce Lee.
Somehow people seem to have enough time for everyone around. I always wondered how they managed to do it. On closer scrutiny, I observed that they do not have time or interest for new age entertainments. They do not go to movies or restaurants. They don’t wait for long weekends to plan a trip somewhere. None of the new age madness including the internet seem to have shaken them even a bit. Are they uneducated or uninformed? No. Most of the people in that place know Vedic scriptures. They read nature well. They know about current affairs, only the important ones. They do not care who killed who or who cheated on who. They care about natural calamities, they care about government laws and aids. They care about new schemes. They know many languages (English is not necessarily one of them). They have their priorities right. They seem to have enough time for ‘everyone’ but not ‘everything’.
When I was there, coincidentally, it was also a car festival at the village temple. People get together to pull the car out of its shed, go around four major roads and come back to the shed. This is the custom. The atmosphere when this happens is electrifying. Here is the picture of taken during this event. (PS: By car, I did mean a four wheeler. But a different kind of a four wheeler 🙂 It’s actually a chariot. Of giant size.)
Every time I make a trip to my native place, some portion of my pride gets a knock out punch on the face. I feel humbled and small when compared to those people. I feel we are chasing a wrong carrot and it’s just that! A Carrot. On a long stick. It is a mad race going around in never ending circles. We do not need stuffs to be happy after all.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu