Once, we were travelling to a distant city via car. On the way over there, the places are full of rural lives. At a juncture, we stopped our car and had sugarcane juice over there in tall glasses. The juice tasted wonderful.
At the opposite side of the juice center a woman was cooking and selling food. Ma and me, we went over to that shop.
It was being run by a village woman and what attracted Ma was that she was making omelettes using a large and colourful ladle. The village woman asked Ma-“Shall I pack two omelettes for you?”
Ma-“No,no I just had sugarcane juice to my fill.”
She-“Where are you from?”
Ma-“From a distant city.”
She-“I have been living in this village since my childhood, I was born here.”
Ma-“ Do you manage this food outlet by yourself?”
She-“Most of the times. My son helps sometimes.”
Ma-“Where is your home?”
She-“Its nearby. I have a big cattle ranch and there are many cows in it. We also sell milk. The cows give us a lot of milk.”
Ma-“What does your husband do?”
She-“He’s a farmer. Yet he behaves like a city man.”
Ma-“Why do you say so?”
She-“He loves to watch cricket matches on television.”
Ma-“So? Everyone loves cricket.”
She-“But every now and then he would be crooning near my ears that if we had television set, then I could watch those matches.”
Ma-“ Don’t you have a television set at your home?”
Ma-“Then where does your husband watch those cricket matches?”
She-“Near, the Panchayat office, there is a small room. All men have pitched in and given some money so that they can buy a small television set for watching matches. So I am saving money to buy a big television set and for my daughter’s marriage too.”
Ma-“That will lead to more people coming over to your house to watch on the television.”
She-” I would keep it off most of the times and during afternoon when everyone rests, I would watch old movies.”
Ma-“Does, your village have electricity?”
She-“Yes, nearly a year, electricity was given to the whole village.”
Ma-“Good. Pack two omelettes for us.”
She-“Hearing those words from Ma her face lit up and with those omelettes she packed two freshly made small breads for us. She didn’t charge her for the bread, but Ma gave her the payment for the bread too.
The village woman said-“This village is my life. My whole happiness lies in being here.”
Ma-“Good for you. Village life is simple, happy and wonderful.”
She-“Yes and nodded her head.”
Then we went back to our car and our journey resumed.
While travelling I thought that we have so many askings, but the village woman had few. She had also said that she needs to give her daughter’ marriage. Had she not been saving money to buy a television set, she would be free to pursue her dreams, celebrate her daughter’s marriage in a grand way and save more money for her pension and savings.
We ate those omelettes on our way and they tasted smooth, soft and beautiful. They smelt smoky and different with the bread.
Such is the journey of life.