A village always has its own innate beauty and grace. Unpolluted, green, prosperous, lively and more than anything else, relaxed. Everyday hectic corporate lifestyle always sucks the liveliness, which can be brought back by just a single visit to an absolute village very very far off from the city.
My first choice was Thalavapalayam, Karur Dt, coz I had a friend residing there. I went with her. It was a pretty decent bus ride, without bumpy roads. How could a road to a village, be so un-bumpy..??? Well, it was NH 7, the longest highway in India, which is from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh to Kanyakumari. It was a smooth 15 minutes ride on Highway followed by a bumby 15 minutes ride into the village. Then I reached Thalavapalayam.
I alighted and went to my friend’s place. The route to her home itself was spectacular. We walked past a coconut tree grove and walked across a small channel. Enroute I came across many lovely shrubs and little insects and bugs. Carefully walking, not to stamp the innocent isects, I played with touch-me-nots. My friend found a little shrub and plucked its fruit rather a dried fruit. She gave it to me and told me to just hold it in mouth like thermometer and not bite it. I did and it busted or I could say clicked in my mouth. It was funny. I do not know it’s name. But indeed funny. We reached her home. A lovely home and warm and friendly people. A little water to drink and 5 mins rest were more than enough. And we started off.
We walked up through a little lane beside her home and walked across a huge coconut grove and then through a sugarcane grove. The leaves of the sugarcane were so sharp and almost scraped me. A neighbor explained that the leaves of the sugarcane are called thovai. I fact, I didn’t know before. And it is this thovai which forms the major food of cattles. The spikes of the leaves had to be removed completely before feeding the cattles or else their throat would be injured. He showed his rough hands and said, just in the morning he had removed the spikes to feed his cows. Now, that’s what the IIM’s call, waste management. He didn’t require an IIM - MBA to re-use the otherwise wasted leaves of sugarcane, after harvesting the stems to sell to the sugar factories.
We walked past another land filled with tall grass. The lush greenery was so inspiring that we abhorred walking on the pavement anymore and walked within the grass patch. The hug of the grass together with the kiss of the wind was absolutely unwinding experience. The peak of experience was when a friend, after a shoot inside the grass, came hopping and running to the pavement. I clicked a shot of hers there. It came out so well. It was like a heroine of a Bharathiraja movie, coming right through the fields, hopping and running towards the railway station, expecting the hero to arrive in the train just coming in, shouting “Maamoiiii…….!!!!!!!!” with the bgm of the horn followed by the coming of the train. Anyone who had seen even a single movie of Bharathiraja would get a glimpse of what I am referring to.
Then we walked further down to reach a nice wide and deep well brimming with water. It’s the well that supplies water to the surrounding several acres of cultivation. We had brought along with us a lorry tyre’s tube and dried drumstick tree stem. This is now called self suffieciency. We didn’t require expensive water floater equipments. These would keep us afloat more than required. Well, then what, jump in. My friend belonging to the place did several types of dives in the well. She’s been seeing it and playing in it since almost birth. Knowing to swim in the swimming pool felt almost useless in here. Depth was so much, you know, it’s a well. And well, I almost drowned. Luckily, my friend pulled me up and handed over the life saving tyre tube to me. Ah, back to life. The kids around started laughing, looking at my ‘ignorance’ in this life skill. Well, I wiped the overflowing embarrassment on my face, and we started walking back to her home.
On the way, was the home of my friend’s friend, where we started plucking the guava right from the tree and eating then and there. Pretty tasty, to have it so fresh and unpolluted. Then we headed to her home for a nice bath in fresh groundwater (Yes, it’s still available there), and wrung our clothes and got ourselves and our clothes dried up in the sun. Then, had a sumptuous meal. Swimming and drowning, had its own effect on me. I slept like log. When I woke up, it was a pleasant evening. After having a hot cuppa coffee, I started playing with the little kid next door. He got pretty much attached to me. Then later at night, we had a typical south Indian specialty dosa and chutney and came back home.
TO GET THERE:
12 km – Any town bus that goes to Velur passes thru Thalavapalayam
Dedicated to Chitra, Nancy and Jeeva