Last weekend I and my family had travelled to Murud, a small village in Konkan region to meet our family friend. The main purpose of this getaway was to visit the temple of Vyaghreshwar (Lord Shiva) situated in Aasood, another small village close to Murud.
We reached Murud around late evening and stayed at a resort by the beach for that night and next morning we visited temple of Vyagreshwar. We performed a small pooja there and travelled back to Murud. Our family friend had invited us for breakfast.
I was feeling a little awkward since I had not met this uncle before, had only heard about him. But since he had insisted that we must drop in for breakfast, there we were. Little did I know then how interesting this vist was going to be.
As soon as we reached his place, the first thing that overwhelmed me was the BIG house. Yes, the house was really big, and it was extremely fascinating for someone like me who has grown up and stayed all her life in Mumbai where there are only apartments and no houses or bungalows. Well, there are some, but you can’t afford one unless you are filthy rich! So, looking at this house, I was absolutely awestruck!
The house had a porch, followed by drawing room (very big one!). The drawing room had a staircase that led to another floor. Ahead of drawing room there was a kitchen (again very big) and adjoining to it was another room (again very big! :)) after that there was a huge open space which linked to yet another room where there were many printing machines, yes – printing machines, this uncle owns a printing press and that too inside his house!! How amazing is that? That reminds me that adjacent to these rooms, there was another very big room (not room literally, a separate structure but within the premise that uncle owned) which housed about four huge traditional printing machines. Uncle now rarely uses them though! The simplicity with which this house was done is indeed pleasing. Nothing looked fancy yet it looked so beautiful. Not clutter of furniture and wall decors, no showy drapes, no fancy colors to the wall, in fact, the house was done up with mud (read cow dung) as the practice that is still followed in villages. I think that is the charm of the lifestyle in a village!
What inspired this article is what we saw after we finished breakfast. Uncle took us to see his vegetable farm. Yes, apart from all this, he owned a farm of his own (again a big one! :)) Well, it may not be as big as a commercial farm, but it was certainly very big for a farm that someone would keep for a hobby. Farming is uncle’s hobby and printing press is his profession!
This farm was the land that started from beyond his printing press and went on to connect the sea shore. Just imagine, a part of your land connects straight to the sea shore, how amazing is that!! Again, this was something very uncommon for me because we barely get to see a sea in the city!
While I was trying to absorb all this excitement, uncle started explaining about his crops and the methods of farming but who was listening to him? Meaning, I was so engrossed in watching the flowers that he had grown that I didn’t really pay attention to the technical aspects of his farm! He was showing us the area where he had grown Jhendoo flowers. It’s beautiful orange colored flower used to make garlands for auspicious events. So may flowers had neatly grown in rows and looked absolutely beautiful! Here is a picture.
Then we moved on to see banana plants, but these were very very small has he had just planted them.
Further, we moved on to see eggplants, chillies, cauliflower and few more flowers. I was so excited with the idea that this uncle grows his own vegetables, plucks them fresh from the farm and cooks them the same day! Wow, and what do we get in cities – stocked up or frozen vegetables!
He had three varieties of eggplant, each with a different size and dimension of the fruit. Here is an amazing picture, you will see the eggplant right at the bottom of the crop.
And the chilly plant looked so cute! To be honest, it took me a while to realize that it was a chilly plant because the green chillies could not be identified from amongst the green crop! But the moment I saw the chillies that had grown on the crop I was dumbfound! The chillies were so crisp and fresh. I don’t remember when was the last time I saw such crisp and fresh chillies in the city market!
Next thing that amazed me was the cauliflower. I must have purchased cauliflower from the city market hundreds of time by now but little did I know that how beautiful this vegetable looks in its original form. It looked like a green lotus (a species of a beautiful water flower). The picture below speaks more about how beautiful the cauliflower looks. I had never seen this vegetable wrapped naturally so beautifully with leaves!
We roamed around more areas of his farm to see other plants like wild banannas, tulsi, turmeric etc. I asked uncle what he does about the farm’s produce since it looked too much to cook and finish on whis own every day and he told me he sends one tonne of Jhendu flowers to Pune city every year, plus he sends all his vegetable produce to 20 small time vegetable sellers in Pune market. Just imagine, he does farming as a hobby and produces fresh vegetables for his family plus he also helps some small time vendors by providing them his produce for further sale in the city market. It goes without saying that he doesn’t charge these vendors in a commercial manner.
While we were leaving, uncle gave us a bag full of farm fresh vegetables. This was an amazing experience! We visit beaches and resort quite often as a part of our vacation, but this visit indeed was one of its kind!