Go back to Village

I was born in a village in Tamilnadu but grew up in Chennai, a Metro City in India. I have never stayed in a village for more than two months at a stretch. During the school days it was a family trip to visit relatives in villages. After most of my relatives moved to cities, I hardly visited any village. Recently I visited one of the village, looking at their lifestyle and quality of life they have, I can only envy them. For someone depending only on agriculture income in a village, am aware of the hardships they go through every year due to unpredictable monsoon. In this post am going to look back at the city life when I was in Chennai, my gated community experience at Bangalore, teachings of Covid-19 and why I now feel it makes sense to go back to village post retirement.

I was in Chennai for more than four decades until six years back when I moved to Bangalore. In Chennai we were living in a rented independent house initially, subsequently we moved to a small apartment and we continued our living in apartments. Life in a small apartment was beautiful. I had lot of friends, play most part of the day when its a holiday and during the summer vacation we used to play day and night. When there were festivals or New Year, we used to have grand celebration with lot of cultural programs and dinner. Most of the family living in our apartment will participate in these events. We were living as one large family in these apartments. Today, even after my brother and myself moved to Bangalore with our families, my parents want to continue living in the same apartment because they have some nice friends and they just can’t miss their place. The families in this apartment live as one large family.

I moved to Bangalore around six years back and we live in a gated community. There are around one thousand seven hundred flats with all the amenities and convenience stores. On the amenities, we have a nice club house, few swimming pools, decent library, tennis court, indoor badminton and squash court. Moving to convenience stores we have few grocery stores, vegetables and fruits store, two clinics, pharmacy, two chat shop, nice salon and few others coming up. When I started living in this community I was enjoying the stay, I picked some nice friends and joined few groups. Some of the positives of living in a gated community are a) we have runners and yoga group – I joined the runners group and we used to run together during weekends and there were yoga trainers teaching yoga for lot of residents b) Senior Citizens Group – the senior citizens do their morning walk, some of them do laughing meditation and in the evening they have nice time chatting in the garden c) Children’s Play area – sitting in the balcony and watching Children’s play is something that I like the most, this is fun and at times it is a learning for me hearing their conversation. This is one thing I like even today staying in a gated community. After enjoying the honeymoon of gated community for first few years, I started seeing the other side. a) even our neighbors wont say Hello b) when there are celebration for festival or new year, hardly people participate. c) the runners and yoga group slowly disappears and it will be back to running on our own. d) there are bunch of people who have learnt to throw out anything from their balcony e) there are smokers who prefer to smoke from their balcony with no concern on the senior citizen or children on the next door f) even for the general body meeting there wont be a quorum for the meeting g) what I didn’t like the most is, even during these Covid-19 days, you will find residents not wearing the mask. My two cents about gated community is we live together in a community without knowing each other and people don’t care about others, they do what they want to do.

Image Courtesy : The Hindu

After having such a mixed experience in a Gated Community and after all the most valuable teachings from Covid-19, I have started thinking life will be much better in a village. Kindly click this link for my learning from Covid-19: https://rainbow-thoughts.com/2020/05/01/lessons-from-covid-19/ . In today’s world what is very important in our life other than our family and friends are WiFi, Mobile, Netflix and Tata Sky. I can move to a village, maybe have better network coverage for WiFi and Mobile Data, Netflix and Tata Sky can move with us wherever we go. To have these services where we stay doesn’t matter. Why I also started thinking about moving back to a village is, I can have better quality of life. I can start my day running or walking, I can continue doing my yoga, I can eat home grown vegetables and fruits, I can stay connected with my family and friends and overall I will have a healthier life. I have started thinking about the pros and cons of moving back to village, am certain life will be much better than what I experience in a gated community. Am hoping one day I will go back to a Village.

If you like my post kindly share by clicking one of the buttons below. Take Care and Be Safe.

Our Pattu Chitthi

I was at my Brother’s place yesterday to spend time with my Niece. When he was having his lunch he got a phone call and by his tone I know my Mom lost her Mom, her Mentor, her Guide, her Greatest Support and her Best Friend. Pattu Chitthi is my Mom’s Mother’s sister, still Pattu Chitthi is like my Mom’s Mom and my Grandmother. With love and affection we used to call her Pattu Chitthi.

When I think of Pattu Chitthi the first thing that comes to my mind is few years back my mom lost her gold chain to a chain snatcher, Pattu Chitthi was in late 70s when this incident happened. When she came to know about this, she was at my place to spend time with my completely disturbed Mom. She was at my place when she could hardly walk. I remember asking her why did you come? Her response was with her trademark smile, Lalithaada referring to my Mom.

My mom was born in a village before moving to Chennai. My mom has shared with us lot of what has happened in the past. Even if my mom runs minor fever, Pattu Chitthi will be at my place and similarly if Pattu Chitthi is not well my Mom will be there. I have always admired their wonderful relationship. Pattu Chitthi was the biggest support for my mom and when my mom and me met her few months back, I saw a little child which is my mom taking blessing from Pattu Chitthi.

Pattu Chitthi has her son and daughter. They have seen ups and downs in life. What I have understood from my mom is whether it was the up or down Pattu Chitthi was the same person which is a learning for me and my people. What I like the most is even Pattu Chitthi’s children tell my mom and our people, my mom is her first daughter. I can only Thank Pattu Chitthi’s son and daughter for this. Keeping this on mind, last few years when I see Pattu Chitthi I fall on her feet to take her blessings, when I do this I keep telling myself Thank You, Thank You.

Pattu Chitthi is the person my mom loved the most, one person who will come closer to Pattu Chitthi is my mom’s granddaughter. Two days back when Pattu Chitthi was getting admitted in hospital, I understand she told her daughter in law, tell my mom not to come to hospital due to Covid-19 restriction. There are very few people who always think about others, here is someone who in her late 80s before going to hospital, thinks about my Mom. I find this difficult to understand and it is very painful.

The person my mom loved the most, the person I respected the most and the person our family thanks the most is no more. What is so painful is my mom is in a Covid-19 catchment area and she cannot even go and see her Mom for the last time. Am here at Bangalore and I cannot go and see Pattu Chitthi one more time. I know my mom is crying non stop, she is very much disturbed and I have to be with her, because of the restrictions I cannot go. I have never felt so painful like today. I can only pray god one more time. leave this world Covid-19, people have gone through enough suffering already.

Even though my mom is not able to see her mom one more time, Pattu Chitthi from heaven will continue to keep blessing my mom, Pattu Chitthi’s children and grandchildren. I also know she will continue to bless my mom’s family which is ourselves. I want to Thank Pattu Chitthi for all the Love, Affection and Support to my Mom. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. We will miss you forever Pattu Chitthi.