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My Indian Village Life.
Living in a Village.
Born and having lived in a city for over 70 years I had to move to a LAYOUT developed by a land shark which I had selected trusting what was told to me by the sales representative of the land shark who had developed this layout in a village. Staying in this layout was not my choice but by the circumstances I was in which was not under my control drove me to leave my sweet home selling it to a stranger. I had purchased the house from a loan granted by my employer and extended the house by building two rooms and making it a self contained first floor building so that my two children can also stay with me when they grow up but they did not stay in the country itself.. The layout that I selected was in a village 6 kilometers from the national 6 lane highway going from Bangalore to words the South.The drive from my home to this layout in the land shark's Maruti Van took around 90 minutes which is the same for any place from my home to any other place around Bangalore, so the distance was not a major disadvantage.I did not bother for other issues since I had no choice. My wife and I discussed the pros and cons of selling the house and the reactions that would come up if we had to discuss the topic with in and out side the family and the result that might perhaps go against our plans.The house was 30 years old on the ground floor and 20 years old on the first floor and had problems in the building and adjacent vacant plots..The first floor was constructed in my absence since I could not be present at the site for the time frame set to finish the work and the contractor had cheated me in the construction of first floor.When ever we saw an advertisement for a Flat we would discuss the same and even we would go to visit these flats after we came to know that the land sharks would provide free transport for prospective buyers.we took this opportunity to inspect these Apartment Complexes and the Flats that was constructed as a Model Flat fully furnished in many places.Every Flat in any Apartment complex had a sales executive who would provide such untrue information that we would think of giving a check on the spot to buy a Flat though it was not my choice to stay to live the evening of my life with only my wife.My wife wanted a Flat since there would be lot of ladies to mingle and chit chat.We both were members of two social clubs and I had seen my wife's reaction to mingle with the crowed.She lived in independent house all her married life except for a few years after marriage when she had to stay in a rented first floor residence of a Member of the State Legislative Assembly of the elected govt of the state.After that she was in company quarters which was a independent Bungalow given to me inside the plant as I was at the top of the management and my presence was needed day and night at the manufacturing plant.Now that I was retired my ego did not permit me to live like a fellow next to some guy in a Flat.I wanted to live in a independent Bungalow like I was living even after my retirement.I always mixed with guys who were superior to me or my class mates.Thus no flat was booked in a hurry and no check was given to any sales man.However our hunt for a flat continued for months after months.
I had to Sell if I had to Buy.
Few months passed and we did not see any Flat that was with in our Budget and that was ready to move in.I was knowing that the moment I sold the house I had to move out.Our movable property was itself requiring space as big as a flat since our children had left theirs in our home when they left after their marriage including their motor bikes.I could have sold all the things including many of my movable property but I preferred to keep them.I love all old items that may be considered as junk.Many of my parents property is with my brother who has selectively kept them.My father gave me all my mothers gold jewellery and the silver items that he gave me I donated it in my mothers memory to our Guru's Mandhir. That was also one of my problem with my junk in moving to a Flat.One another big problem was the people from all over north who occupied posh flats and moved around with out even looking friendly at us who were the natives of Bangalore was unacceptable to me.That was why I. preferred selling my property to any one in south but not north.The reason being the attitude of the many rich north Indian origin and mostly business community was they were showing their money power wearing tight fitting dresses flashing their body parts.while getting out of their posh cars in traditional locality of south Indians.. I considered Mumbai as south and was willing to sell my property to any Maharashtrian as I liked them for reasons I do not know.may be because I worked in Maharashtra and I found them very simple during those days in 60's.
Having said what I had to say let me tell you how I happen to be in a village:-
1 - Getting fed up with our old home we started hunting for Flats me & my wife saw an advertisement that said few VILLA'S were still available 50 kilometers from city airport and VILLA was in 24X7 Security Layout 5 kilometers only from National 6 Lane High Way going south from a Road Side Town.The builder would also arrange transport to those who wanted to inspect the layout was mentioned in the News Paper.They had their website which I saw and it looked good on my monitor.
2 - We rang up the developer and a guy answered and told that the transport would be only from a fixed point.We informed him that we are senior citizens and cannot go anywhere near the pick up point and must come to our home.We asked because as others had sent big a/c cars to our house. He said he will talk to his MD and get back.A few days later he rang up and said that as a special case his MD had agreed to send the transport. We did get a slight shock after seeing the transport. However the VILLA word made us agree to visit.
3 - On the appointed day we went and saw the Layout which met our standard and budget at that point of time and after getting all the untrue information provided by the sales person.We demanded a 90% completed VILLA which was built for the MD and the sales person said that was not available. We said than there is NO DEAL. The sales man said nothing but said he will report NO DEAL to his MD and we did good bye.
4 - Few days later we were again contacted by the same guy who told that we must meet his MD.We asked for transport and it was done.
5 - We than met the MD a very nice looking guy who said that we should not jump to our conclusion but must make sure of what we needed as the present VILLA we had selected was for his use.We were in a hurry and wanted to move in 6 months.This VILLA would be ready in that time and so we stuck to our choice and said that VILLA or NO DEAL.He was so kind and sweet that he said he would like us to visit once again the VILLA and get back to him if we were so sure.We agreed and went again but said our choice was same.He said he was pleased with us and there fore had agreed to give his house to us and said that we can meet the Manager and sign the papers and also pay a token advance to confirm the deal.
6 - We were asked to pay a small sum and we were given few documents to be read and signed after seeing all the clauses of the agreement.
7 - We came home saw the documents which were slightly blur to me on formation of layout which was done after buying the lands belonging to farmers but all legal though.
8 - I phoned the guy that he can collect the signed documents,he came home and collected the documents and said that construction activities had started and that we must pay Rs.1,00,000 as advance to words further work.
9 - We were taken to the layout by the same guy and saw that work was going on.We were told to meet the MD.
10 - We went again to meet the MD who was sitting with his brother.He said as the construction was in full swing we need to enter in to a ' Construction Agreement ' and handed over to me few sheets of xerox copies which he said were the specifications of the building materials and after seeing the same I can sign the Construction Agreement '.I told him that he should use only the best and if it exceeds cost I would be willing to pay. I showed him the Electrical Switches in his Office and said it should be of that quality in my home.He said it will be better and looked at his brother.How could I know that signal.
11 - I came home with the documents and saw the Big Folder Document which showed he had taken the permission to form the layout from the local panchayat by buying various farmers land and forming a layout.The next set of xerox papers were specification sheets which would be used in the constructions of my VILLA..After making changes in specifications which were needed as per my civil engineering knowledge I phoned the guy who has sold me the VILLA to come and collect the papers.I was told he would come but I had to go with him to sign the construction contract. I did go signed the contract gave the specifications sheets with changes and told the MD to kindly follow the same and charge me the extra cost for superior specifications that I had included in the construction contract.He said that would be done.
12 - Few days later I got a phone call from the guy who had sold me the VILLA that I had to pay Rs.2,50,000 to words the cost of construction materials as per the terms of sale agreement.I had no money as I had not sold my house. I took over draft on my FD's and paid the money.
13 - Myself and my wife went several times to see the progress at the site.The work was going at snail speed and several reasons were given like workers not coming and festival holidays etc.
14 - There was no one to buy my house and I was worried but there was positive response and it so happened I got in touch with a known person who was doing real estate brokers job.A sale was soon made and advance required for my VILLA was taken as token of sale.I now went after the builder and wanted the possession of the VILLA as per the construction agreement.
15 - Soon I was told to pay a huge sum at the office I told the MD I would pay by check which he agreed on phone but later he conveyed the news through his office that he will accept cash and cash only..I phoned to him and said how I can carry such huge cash he said he would send his Manager and the sales guy known to me for security and would be given transport also.I was left with no option but to pay as other wise I know he would stop his work on my VILLA.The guys came with me to the bank took the cash and went straight to his home to deliver the cash after dropping me at their office.I waited at the office for a receipt but the guys never came and never gave me any receipt.Soon the VILLA was completed but many minor works were not completed.I selected the most auspicious day " Vijayadashami " for House Warming Function and after all the pooja's the milk was warmed up to boiling point and continued till the milk overflowed a symbolic traditional way to occupy the house and we moved in to our ' New Villa '.
16 - I went on complaining on various minor works that were left out by the various building contractors and the Project Engineer told me one day that I must go and settle my accounts at the office when he will complete all my needs. Trusting I went and paid all the amount that was told by the guy who sold me the VILLA had said. That was the END to my complaints nothing was ever done and my list of things that needed to be done was never done till I type this HUB.I was now and for ever stuck in this VILLAGE.VILLA. Life in this village is simply serious.
We landed in a Village.
As our plans were made for a independent home I took up a Villa in a gated community and soon we moved to our new virgin home which was fully air conditioned with 2000 sq ft of built area in place of our home which was just 750 sq ft.Our urgent requirement was a domestic help and that was not available in the village.Most of the lady's would only work in farms from morning till evening getting free meal from the land owners who were growing many types of vegetables and rice and for their own yearly need of their staple food Ragi.What ever was grown around our home in the village was available to us for free till such time we lived in the village.However we could not get any domestic help for a month and finally a lady who was working in the village head man's home was made available to us.The village lady's were all from a community who belonged to a class of 17th century farm workers of India who did not dress like urban lady's.Most of them were tobacco chewing all the time and spitting out the blood like liquid from their mouth in which were place they found it previously spitted by some other person.These domestic help lady's would do sweeping,mopping of the floor,water the garden,wash vessels,clean walls and windows but not both rooms.They would not wash clothes.They would come at any time convenient to them.We tried to make them help in cooking but they never liked the smell of our food all pure vegetarian with out garlic or Onion in our cooked food.They never took our food that was over cooked / surplus food even if it was fresh and given to them first before we had our meal.These village lady's were member of a financial group called 'Chit Fund' and when ever they needed money for some extra expense they would take money from the lady or man who was in charge of 'Chit Fund' group.They amount taken would carry 24 % to 36 % interest.Our domestic help would take money from us so it wont carry any interest as it would be adjusted in their monthly salary.We would be asked such borrowing of money and we had to pay and no question asked.We later learn't that the land over which stood our house belonged to our domestic helper and they had sold the land to the land developer a land shark from the city. Some time our domestic help would come with her 3 daughters to complete the work and go home for some private work.Some times she would send her daughters and sometimes no one would come.In our city life it was nothing of this sort we had every domestic help we needed.
Our other requirement was plumber or electrician they were not in our village and we had to go to the next village to contact the electrician or plmber or carpenter.There was only one driver in our village and he would not come to work for us as he was a alcoholic.We found a driver but he left us since he had to hardly drive 3 days in a week and work 7 days a week.We found another who had to come from a far off place and he also left.We managed some months and one day a driver came and he was with us till we left the village.My wife had to drive 5 KM to bring our groceries or go to meet some one in town.Working so hard her 2nd stage arthritis wnt to 4th stage and she was finding it very difficult to even walk and if she did walk it was not walking but limping and looked so croked that I could not see her limpimg and tried hard as to get her knee replaced by metal joints which was the only solution to such problems.
A walk in the village.
One fine day I entered this village and walked till the road was blocked by a river and the road that was seen was not a road but foot prints of people that had balded the place with no grass being seen growing over the place just as wide as your two legs.It is called Leg Road.There was no one to speak at the place till my driver came along in search to see me standing all alone in the setting sun which had started covering the sky with gray clouds.My driver told me that most of the people would be just coming home if I wanted to talk to anyone. I was in no mood to talk after seeing what I saw of incredible India's village.I tried to talk but they looked like having no interest to talk.I saw few children who said good evening sir and I was surprised and returned their complements and tried to talk to them in English but they simply smiled and when I asked them if they did not know how to speak in English they said NO in one voice and moved towards the village.The next day again it was good evening sir,now I talked to them in local language and wanted to know if they would like to learn speaking in English they all said YES in one voice.I told them to come to my office next to my home in the evening if they want to learn English.
Evey day I would walk in different directions and try to sit and think why I had come here to walk alone with my wife sitting alone in the house which never happened in our long life.There was a stream running in the village and wanted to know from where it was coming.I was informed that it was coming from a Dam some kilometers away from the stream.I took my wife and drove up to the dam and could not drive nearer to the dam.We both walked and found it was a Dam which held only sewage water coming from a city discharge and some times dead body's would come.It broke my heart to hear that such a dirty water was flowing near my home but later some body told me that the water was good for fields and had filtered all the murk flowing over the sand bed.Whatever I did not tell my wife and had no choice but to keep going since I had taken the decision to come here.The Dam had a waste water treatment plant which was supplying filtered water for Industrial use.The Dam would never dry come rain or shine as waste water would come from city come rain or shine.The stream water which was used was let out from Dam for irrigation besides there being canal water also released from Dam for irrigation.The Village was a bed of all sorts of vegetables being supplied to many city's innorth and south and around 240 lorry loads of vegetables would go daily.There was a farmers market also in town which supplied fresh vegetables in town.It was a croaked market where my wife could not walk with being pushed by people who came there to buy as it was cheaper than market in town.I used to go only to market with my wife as she could select all varieties of vegetables in Dept stores.
What is in the Stores.
A Village stores must essentially store such items as Betel Leaves,Betel Nuts,Chewing Tobacco,Banana,Cigarettes,Beedis,Snacks and Sweets.The entire village that I saw had 3 stores and all of them had stored the same items and few others.Home made snacks are popular as children when hungry are able to go out and eat rather than bother their mothers.Adults need cigarettes and chewing tobacco to go with betel nuts and betel leaves. Even woman chew tobacco all the time.There is a cluster of 9 villages in a radius of 5 kilometers and not a single govt primary health center is maintained by the state government .Most of the people of the village population are over 50 years of age and the youngsters are all employed in towns and are mostly self employed and as helpers to carpenters,electricians,masons,steel fabricators,auto repair shops,petrol bunks, grocery stores helpers,Xerox Machine operatives,Factory trained skilled Workers,Machine fitters helpers,painters,security personal in factories and labor employed by building contractors.Majority of labor for farming is presently by women who are supervised by farm land owners who are all male.In 20 years from now there will be only the people from tribal areas and machines in few areas with out humans doing present labor work in many village farm lands.
No Building Rules.But other Rules are followed.
All houses are simple and built as they can be built by any means.There is no plan or rule.Villagers are a law to them selves on their land.They do not know what planning is needed in any of their activity.The only rule that prevails on their land is peace and non interference in others activities of others private life.However there is a silent understanding on their behavior in public.Respect to elders is followed in all times at any place.Boys and girls keep their distance from each other with their movement at any time of the day.Going to school is only in separate groups. No late night activities are followed independently by any one that might look unacceptable to elders.Traditional dress is only allowed,you cannot see any girl wearing a JEAN..Grown up girls stay indoors helping their mothers.