Mummy entered the room and saw Soham sitting glued to the TV. “Soham, will you go out and play?” Soham did not hear a word. Pokemon was at its climax. Mummy went out mumbling to herself, “When we were young, our parents used to worry that we played too much and now I’m worried because my son does not want to play at all.”
At dinner, Mummy brought up the topic again. “Soham, you must go out and play. It’s a lot of fun. You know, when we would go to our grandparents village, we never wanted to come back to the city. Playing outdoors was so much fun.” Soham laughed, “Mama, it was because you did not have so many channels, Internet or play station.” Mummy smiled, “There’s no replacement for nature sweetheart!”
“Mama life would be so boring in a village, no TV, no internet and moreover farming is such a boring profession. That’s why no one wants to do farming these days.” Soham spoke like an intellectual. Although Soham’s grandmother had a farm and he had gone there a few times, he was too small then and did not remember much. Now when Soham’s father was posted near their hometown, Mummy decided that they will spend their summer break on his grandmother’s farm.
With lot of coercing Soham agreed. They reached there by taxi which took almost four hours. Soham was tired and irritated too. But Nani was delighted to see her grandson. The farm was huge. Nani had a small house in the middle of fields and yes there was a TV there. There were few kids playing there and Nani told them to take Soham to the tube well for a bath.
The water was freezing cold but all the kids jumped into it instantly. Soham also got inside as he did not want to be made fun of. “My God! I’ll freeze”, he thought but soon started enjoying it. All the tiredness got washed away. He came out after a long time.
When he got back home, Nani told him to pluck vegetables from the field behind the house. “What! There is only lauki here!” He looked around and found tomatoes and green chillies as well. “I’m starving and what I’ll be eating is lauki !” Soham sulked.
But in the evening, when he ate dinner, the lauki tasted delicious!!! “Nani, how did you make it? It tastes out of this world”. “This is farm fresh that’s why. What you eat in the city is already three to four days old so it does not taste good”, told Nani.
At night, everyone slept in the open. The stars shone brightly and the sky was filled with them. He had never seen such a clear sky before due to pollution in cities. He slept like a log.
The next morning, Soham got up very early. The morning breeze was fresh and clean. Mummy also seemed to be relaxed here; after all she too was without tension. Nani made roti on the chulha and gave it to Soham with lots of homemade butter. It was yummy. “Come on Soham, let’s go to the litchi orchard”, Nani called Soham as she was going.
Soham was amazed to see bunches of litchi hanging like red bulbs. “Can I pluck them Nani, please?” Soham pleaded. “Yes, but only a few.” Nani said. They were the best litchis Soham had ever had. He forgot the number of litchis he ate. How time went by he never realised.
There were many children with whom he played many games like football and hide-and-seek the whole day. Simple food tasted better than any junk food he used to love back home. The icing on the cake was taking a bath in the tube well and a ride on the tractor. He understood the importance of trees and clean environment more clearly by staying on the farm than learning from his EVS book. Soon the vacation was over and it was time to go back. The night when they were packing, mummy asked him, “Did you realise something Soham? You did not watch TV at all” Soham smiled sheepishly.
“Mama, you were right. It’s great fun to play outdoors. I did not miss TV at all. I’ll do that more often now and after seeing Nani looking after her farm, I think farming is not at all boring.” When the school reopened, Soham had many adventures to share with his friends. That day in the class, the teacher asked the students about their dream profession. Soham stood up and said with confidence and a large smile, “Ma’am, I want to be a farmer like my Nani.”
- Glued – stuck to
- Mumbling – talking to oneself
- Coercing – pestering or forcing