So, you’ve a farm

It generally happens like this when I meet someone new and drop hint about my passion new-found hobby–farming. In fact, weekend farming.
‘That’s really great.’
I nod.
farm shek‘You mean you’ve a farm close to Mumbai…. You may one of the few lucky ones.’
I put on a smile and feel that I’m being judged like a Mittal. The steel magnate.
Or put it this way: How many can afford to have a farm? So what if it’s size of a handkerchief. You can have a second house, have 1000 plus books, a Harley Davidson or an Audi. But a farm!
Most urbanites who measure their world in per square foot owning a farm which is 40,000 sq. ft is unthinkable, inconceivable and mostly unlikely. Sometimes I feel like a member of an exclusive club.
As the conversation continues, s/he self invites his/herself to my farm imaging the bucolic surroundings, birds chirping, sharing a bottle of beer on the banks of a pebble-strewn river.
custrad appleIn an enthusiastic tone I say: ‘Sure, any Sunday.’
One fine day I get a call: ‘When are you visiting your farm next? I want to come.’
Before saying ‘you’re welcome’ I begin by explaining how I reach my farm. It goes like this: ‘I take the 7.08 Badlapur Spl. Reach Badlapur by 7.50. Walk all the way to the bus stop; wait for the 8/10 to arrive which generally is punctual. 40 minutes later the bus drops me at Chon, from where it is a five minute walk. Way back I take the 12 noon bus. And take the train back.’
ripening paddyThe caller, all the while hoping that s/he would be driven in a car—a humble Wagon R—to the destination, his/her enthusiasm deflated generally ends saying: ‘Next time may be.’
That next time doesn’t happen. At least it’s not happened in the six years.
banana stalkBrave few have accepted my terms and enjoyed every moment of it. Who wants to waste a Sunday pulling the weeds, watching a snail move leisurely, hunting earthworms or listening to the morning breeze move through the bamboo groove or spraying neem pesticide on the mango tree or devising protocols to kill rodents?
snailAll the while you are at my farm you’re cut-off from the screens, I can promise that.

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