Posts Tagged village life
I have said this before: being raised abroad and then in the city made childhood visits to my maternal grandparents quite an adventure. My baby brother and I were treated like royalties and, apart from spoiling us a bit, it also made us feel extremely coddled. Each time the car doors slid open, we would rush into our grandmother’s arms. Then we would look over her shoulders to the well-governed agricultural surrounding and feel even giddier at the prospect of being exposed to so much nature. Not that the adults ever let us stray too far out of their sights. Not that we didn’t give escape a good try anyway and succeed.
Among one of our favorite haunts was to visit the old witch who lived on the edge of the village. She was still quite within the bounds of the neighborhood but her two-story delipidated ranch house was set all the way to where the mustard fields touched the hamlet. Her two-story ranch house was the only two-story ranch house of its kind in the village, for that matter.
Its wooden frames had browned with age and become swollen in places. Most of the exterior walls of the structure had come loose so that we could easily glimpse into its innards through the gaps and see how vacant and lifeless the rooms were. When she moved around in the house – and she was the restless sort – the creaks could be heard all the way across her barren yard to the copse in which my cousins and I hid to watch her. Read the rest of this entry »
I have been absent for a while from blogging. It is because I’m away – on a spring break, sort of speak – visiting my maternal grandma. It is a charming village bonded together by 29 hamlets founded upon the various bloodlines that co-exist in this corner of Bangladesh. It is my first visit in almost a decade and I don’t know why I have put it off for so long.
The weather is super fine. Winter was not very harsh this year and I believe we are experiencing the mildest spring of this century so far. The scents of life throbbing from every bush and shrub flutters through the air wherever we tread and it is made even more pleasant by the fragrance of food cooked on primitive earthen stoves fired by dry jute stems. To say the daily walks through the village and the surrounding paddy fields and woods have been reviving is not saying enough. I may have found something akin to elixir.
I used to love visiting my grandma’s as a child. Having been brought up overseas, the simplicity of village life was a novelty whenever we came back to Bangladesh. People would welcome me and my brother as though we truly were a little princess and prince. Yet, we stopped visiting this cocooned world with its near primitive lifestyle because somewhere along the way we grew up and became too worldly. We accepted that we must move at the speed of globalization and cannot be charmed into living ensconced from progress. Yet, my grandma and her neighboring relatives and friends have chosen to stay.
They have their difficulties but we all have difficulties, don’t we? They have chosen this set of challenges and we have chosen our set. And when we greet each other in the avenues their smiles are so genuine it is as though they have each swallowed a star. They must be content, they must be happy, no?
I’m not without all modern facilities. The Internet, for example, is very much available to me. But I’m enjoying village charms too much to attend to my blogging obligations for the moment. There will be time enough for technologies when I return to the flurried self-absorption common in cities. This week, however, I must drink in nature and satisfy my thirst for the bonhomie of my fellow mankind.
While I can.