Its day 1 of our vacation and 6.30 in the morning, birds chirping, a cold pleasant breeze in the air right before as the sun peeks from behind the mountains with its rays penetrating the
Its day 1 of our vacation and 6.30 in the morning, birds chirping, a cold pleasant breeze in the air right before as the sun peeks from behind the mountains with its rays penetrating the light blanket of fog. It’s a place that is nestled in the heart of lush green forests, with hills on one side overlooking a pristine river on the other and farms of the indigenous people lined up along the river offering the perfect setting for the small but beautiful countryside homes.
Carving its way right through the middle of this, is a narrow twisty country road which sweeps its way across the place occasionally bringing in the rare sound of motorised vehicles that shatter the magical silence.
And to top it off, tall wild trees create a canopy like structure that offers a thick cover of shade during the day and play home to the local wildlife that truly give this place a mystical feel and look.
Our journey of 400 KM’s from the hustle-bustle and polluted city scape has brought us to this serene remote village in South Konkan highlighting the magnificent coastal beauty of India. A journey that transitions from the modern India onto the vast plains, crossing the mighty Western Ghats and eventually reaching the quaint coastal region that is so close, yet so far from the rough and complex world we live in.
As you get closer to this beautiful place, it feels like you are on a time travel. Roll down the windows, and the first thing you notice is the loud concrete jungle giving way to a virgin landscape, drowned by a weird but beautiful silence that is so missing in our crowded cities.
Busy streets filled with humans give way to lonely, twisty and jaw dropping country side roads, which take you to the heartland of rural India.Occasional heard of cows and buffaloes replace the chaotic and loud bunch of two wheelers that navigate the city roads. The shear lack of human density in this part of the world is so refreshing. What is even more startling is the cleanliness that is so missing in the crowded cities. Makes you wonder, which is the true civilised society – a City or a Village?
Walk on these tranquil streets on an unreal fresh morning, and the true beauty of life in a village is visible in all its glory. The sun rays slicing through the thick forest cover, trying to make their way towards the expectant ground covered in dew is a sight to behold. This is by far my favourite part of the day.
The smell of the village lingering in the morning air is something which cannot be described and can only be experienced.
As you make your way down the road, few kids herding a bunch of buffaloes while the rest make their way to early morning schools is a beautiful and happy sight. These kids have a smile on their face that tells a story in itself. It reminds you that maybe, you don’t need all the fancy things to be happy. All it takes is a simple yet fulfilling life to be one.
Farmers on their way to start a long and arduous day in the fields trying to fulfil the small & limited needs of their families while the women milk the cows and buffaloes to provide fresh milk for the nearby community. Occasionally, you see some people wandering aimlessly which makes you think, what do these people do to make a living in such a remote part of the world? Overall, it is a tough place to earn a living and the amount of efforts one has to put in for survival is heart wrenching.
However, in the middle of all of this, street dogs playing with their buddies and chasing the odd chicken brings a smile to your face and you immediately forget the struggles of daily lives.
However, what is so evident in this part of the world is how simplicity is the way of life. What is strikingly visible is that the natives here have a very limited set of needs that drives their lives. Their lives are ever so dependent on the seasonal changes which brings about its own challenges. Yet, these people have lived here for centuries navigating through the difficulties and calling this place their home. There is little to suggest they would want it any other way.
They have very little push for modern technology, a limited desire for advanced gadgets, fancy cars and posh houses. Landline phone is still the default, with minimal mobile range from a single service provider. Internet is something which has just started making its presence felt (although intermittent). Yes, it is a crucial element for staying in touch with today’s world and has become a necessity (or like in one state, a constitutional right), but for once, I wish that this technology does not take away the innocence of this place.
The reason for this is in its absence, people still spend the evenings at their friend’s place enjoying a game of cards or a casual talk about politics or daily routine. It’s like the world before mobile phones, when human connect was direct and not virtual. I hope it stays the same. Reminds me of the popular lines from a Beatles song “Let It Be, Let it Be…”.
At the same time, you don’t have Swiggy nor Zomato, no big retail stores, no fancy schools, no expensive restaurants, yet you get the sense of having everything. When you spend a few days in this place, what you realise is what you need on a daily basis is all there.
Just a few kilometres away is one of the most pristine and virgin beaches you can possibly find.
Clear waters offer a stunning backdrop to a lighthouse with fishermen venturing into the beautiful seas for their daily catch.
The true beauty of the ocean is in its full glory at the sunset as nature puts on an almighty show of colours and magic. For moment, you forget all your worries and tend to lose yourself in the magical place.
Go to the heart of the village and you find a few eateries offering simple but delicious food. Authentic sea food made from the fresh catch is something to die for. To top it off, the quantity to prices ratio defies belief. Makes you realise just how exorbitantly expensive our cities are. However, the amazing part is that even in such a remote place, Chinese food makes its presence. Try it and you wonder why doesn’t the chef belong in a five-star hotel?
However not everything is perfect in this part of the world. Especially People. Talking to locals makes you realize a few key traits that are sometimes difficult to digest.
People are still caught in basic and petty issues which do not have a place in todays civilised and modern world. Differences based on caste and religion are rampant that show a different side to this world. May be this is where lack of progress or development starts to show its effects? This is precisely why humans should strive for progress in every way of life.
It calls for a change of mindset, as it is still eroding the society in this part of the world. Time is the only solution, and one day you wish to see a change that is so desperately needed in this neck of the woods.
Its day 8 of our stay which means it’s time to head back to the real world. A world that will again demand us to be on our toes, that will take us closer to the modern world with daily challenges for survival. But it is the world we live in and unfortunately cannot do much to change it. What we can definitely do is ensure we do not lose touch with this virgin world that teaches us so many things. But at the same time leave it alone not to destroy the essence of what makes it what it is.