Diary

Tanya Munshi Diaries: A Visit to the Village

Wednesday, 26th April 2017, Geeli Mitti Farms, Village Mahrora, Uttarakhand, India:

A 10 – 15 min walk up from the Bamboo Loft at Geeli Mitti, we visited two homes in Mahrora village – one of Dayal Daju’s (Daju means Bhaiya, Brother) and the other was Tika Daju’s. I walked through the wheat fields – I stood there mesmerised watching the wheat sway gently with the breeze against the backdrop of the hills. Could there be anything more breathtaking a sight than this? 

When I reached Dayal Bhaiya’s house, I was greeted with a cup of tea and I talked to him about his life up in Mahrora village. Apart from being a farmer, he renders his services to Geeli Mitti by cooking a hearty meal for all of us. He has some agricultural land where he grows his own crops, has his own house, lives with this family and children, his farm animals – I felt he was the richest man on earth and people like us coming from big metropolitan cities are actually so poor.  

Tika Bhaiya’s house was another wonderful interaction. He is primarily a farmer but also works at the Shaolin Gurukul that’s located right next to Geeli Mitti. He also doubles up as a cook. His little nephew showed me a little barn swallow nest in their room which has four baby birds. I really liked how they all lived in harmony with nature. 

Walking back from their house, my eyes filled with tears. I made a call back home and spoke to my Dad, an ex-mountaineer himself and a retired army colonel – I did not have to say much and he understood exactly how I felt while standing at the foothills of Kumaon. Somewhere both my Dad and I are connected to the hills, our heart belongs there and we know it, yet we make do with the life in the city for various reasons of urban requirements.

I stood there for a while and looked at the mountains. My goodness, they’re so huge, they’re so strong, could there be anything as stronger than a mountain? I think not. When I first reached Geeli Mitti, my team got worried why the bubbly chirpy Tanya became so quiet – I couldn’t quite explain to them that it was the sheer magnitude of the mountains, the strength, the silence in which they exude so much power humbled me in a fraction of a second. I have realised that there is no more ‘I’ left – it’s ‘Us’ – nature and me. How could I be so foolish to think that life would always revolve around me when there is something more marvellously strong than me – the mountains.

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