When was the last time you spent the night on a traditional ‘khatiya’.. gazing at the stars.. listening to the leaves rustle in the cool and unpolluted night breeze?
When was the last time you drove a tractor down bumpy farms, helping the locals cut up and gather their produce?
When have you ever tasted the foamy, frothy and absolutely yummy milk that has been milked from a cow seconds ago?
Life in the city tends to take us away from these simple pleasures doesn’t it.. away from the Indian-ness of our being. But Team Junoon got a chance to reconnect with that side of our heart – the down to earth, all enjoying, rustic and completely fantastic Indian village life.
Govindnagar.. most of you might not even know of its existence. But one simple visit to this quintessential village had more for us to experience than all the urban pleasures combined! Trust us.. when we arrived at the scene of the event, we weren’t prepared for the treat it was going to be.
Our night began with slightly rainy weather and a warning to watch out for the Indian Monitor Lizard. Imagining a thick, hefty, 10 inch long (minimum!!!) lizard lurking around the corner was enough to chase our sleepiness away. But that beautiful night breeze making it ever so necessary to sleep outdoors – it sure was hard to resist. Leaves rustling, crickets chirping, and a mind full of giant lizards – quite a concoction for sound sleep don’t you think? But surprisingly, it was the best sleep we had had in years!
Rise and shine at 5.30 in the morning! And we began preparing for the Adventure Event at hand.. But the sounds of peacocks and dregs moving about their daily business got the better of us yet again. The short bird watching trek that followed was unbelievably satisfying with flocks of peacocks, robins, doves, Cuckoos and Bee eaters spotted. Watching an Indian Roller take flight into the rising sun with all its magnificent blue plumage was a sight to behold.
And the day went on to bring similar surprises..
Riding a bullock cart on a bumpy village trail.. cooling down with the refreshing water of the handpump.. savoring the sweet sour flavors of ‘Kosam’ (a forest fruit that a city kid would be totally oblivious about!).. learning how to milk a cow.. getting a foamy moustache on your lips after gulping down a huge glass of fresh milk (Did you know fresh milk is sweet on its own? You don’t need sugar for flavor at all!).. and the GRAND FINALE – walking through a beautiful pomegranate orchard.
Who would have thought such a small, uncharted, untouched-by-urbanization village like Govindnagar had so much to offer for the off-beat traveler.
And guess what.. THE FUN DOESN’T STOP HERE!
The locals here take you right back to your roots.. helping you learn pottery, brass work, weaving and many other local crafts. They even teach you the many intricacies of farming, whether it be rice, wheat or those exquisite pomegranates. We met one farmer who even taught us how to control a bullock cart! The local knowledge about nature, herbs, animals and birds is mind boggling. Makes you want to unlearn everything they have taught us in school.
Learn pottery.. milk a cow.. ride a bullock cart.. or grow a frothy milky moustache – do whatever fits your village travel fantasy!!
We were there for just one day but it was enough to make us realize what we were missing back in the city – the Indian-ness of India. There is something about the ‘Desi’ lifestyle that appeals to our heart like nothing else. You can live on the top floor of a high rise apartment building with all the luxuries in the world, but your roots would still belong back down in the soil.. in the earthiness, the rustiness, the unabashedly Indian India!