Just take a look through my eyes
There’s a better place somewhere out there
Just take a look through my eyes
You’ll be amazed what you’ll find
If you look through my eyes – Phil Collins
The soul of India lives in its villages. The villages are free from the hustle and bustle of a city life. Villages are peaceful, calm and full of greenery where one can breathe fresh air.
The name of my village is “BAIKU” which is situated in high Himalayas in Dharchula Tehsil in Pithoragarh District of Uttarakhand State, India. It comes under Tanta Gaon Roungto Panchayath. There is no railway station near to Baiku in less than 10 km. However, Kathgodam Railway Station is major railway station 129 KM near to Baiku. It consists of total 12 families. We have to climb many stoney stairs to reach there from the bus stop.
Above is the picture of my village in 1940s. Then, the beauty of village was described by the small huts or a home made by clay or mud with thatched roofs. Wall and floor of the houses were made by a mixture of dirt, grass, and cow shit. There were no personal bathrooms. Main occupation was agriculture. Women used to go to the forest to cut the woods either to sell in market or to use as firewood.
Time changed and mud houses were replaced by brick and cement houses. Also a common washroom was built for all.
Since the village has less of soil but more of rocky surface,it was very difficult to do agriculture. People used to do farming of potatoes, radish, cabbage, green chilies, ‘madua’ (kind of flour), wheat, maize and cucumber. Women also contributed in the family budget by weaving the woolen carpets. Slowly people went out of the village to start their business or some other job.
I visited my village after 13 years in year 2011. As soon as I reached there I had a feeling of belongingness. I realized a peace in this village life. I saw people living a simple and traditional life. The dress attire is also simple. To my surprise, my house was now renovated and had iron railings and gas stove was also used. Each house had personal bathrooms now.Though most of the families are settled in the city now, they do visit during the worship ceremony and other important occasions. They still follow their culture with full dedication.
I came to know that my village is blessed with the God deities on all the four directions and this information really aroused my interest. These are ‘DHANGYARSAY’ in the east, ‘NEWNGTON DEVI’ in the west, ’GHABLA DEVTA’ in the north, ’SHANGSAY DEVSTHAL’ in the south. It is believed that the village is protected and prospered by the blessing of these deities. A ceremony called SHYANGTHANG PUJA during dusshera time is held. People enjoy dancing and singing. The music is very pleasant to hear. The dance moves are also very fascinating to watch and is very different. There are 3 villages i.e. ROUNGTO, BAIKU and RIMJHIM which have a common “GRAM SABHA”.
At night, I heard the crickets residing in the trees, the twilight merging into darkness each night, which makes everyone feel the comfort of home while having a delicious meal.
The agricultural products in the village help sustain a healthy life because they consume fresh eatables. Thus, families living there merely fall sick. Also because they are aloof from the city pollution, technological advancement and the biggest bane “junk food”.
The environment is cool and nice. It has long pine trees and few beautiful flowers. The morning sunrise is awesome to watch and similar is the sunset. People there never complain about anything but rather are satisfied with it. They love the simple life they live. The winters there are very cold. People have to suffer these cold conditions and sometimes it becomes difficult to withstand these conditions. The rainy season is hardly experienced but the cool weather is equivalent to an air-conditioner.
I never thought that even a small village somewhere unknown to many others could have been better than the prevailing towns or cities. At last, I realized that we must visit our villages and must know our people and our culture!
So friends, when did you last visit your village??
Take some time from your busy routine of your daily lives and spend it where you actually belong to.