Over the past many months, I’ve been asked by many people, including nodding acquaintances, why we are building a home in a village in Kerala. It’s funny how people judge you by where you grew up (in a city) and where you stay now (in a foreign country!) and how that has a bearing on where you want to stay in the future!
But then most of the world is like that! They have these presumptions and tend to put people into ‘brackets’ – small cubby-holes in what they think according to them is ‘imperfect’. Is it because they themselves are living in a ‘judgment’ well?
Some of the weirdest things I have heard are, “Oh! How can you live in a village? What will you do for entertainment?” Not that I am moving bag, baggage and my foreign roots tomorrow, but anyone hear of ‘every village in Kerala is a town?’ Another one is, “Oh, but there are snakes there!” To which the husband calmly replies, “Heard something called the ecosystem? You need a balance, right!” Atta, guy! That’s why I married you!
The largest number of comments comes from people who have lived in villages themselves and now live in cities. “How will you get along with the people?”, “Do you have Internet?, it will be so rustic,” and this one amuses me all the time, “why such a big house, what are you going to do with it?” Turn it into a marriage hall, maybe?
I come from a big city but the small, close-knit neighbourhood I grew up in has shaped me into the person I am today. Multi-cultural pluralism, that is Mattancherry, tucked away in a corner of Cochin for you!
I believe that you take your roots wherever you go… only if you want to. I will be taking mine to a small village in Palakkad. To the verdant fields, the overflowing ponds, the lilting bhajans, the warm people and to family…
Country roads, take me home to the place I belong…
Here’s a piece I wrote earlier on my village… https://rekhabaala.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/village-vignettes/