One of my blog follower recently asked me, after I had shared my contact number with him, as to why I’m so interested in farming? Whether I’m a farmer and how long have I have been into it.
I told him that I’ve been interested in farming ever since I was a child and have harboured the dream of owning one. It’s only late in life that I could afford to buy a plot of land, 40kms from where I reside. My father had around 10 bighas of land in his ancestral village in Debipur in Howrah Distt. of West Bengal (now called Paschim Banga). As he left his village and joined the Indian Air Force he entrusted the local chasi (farmer in Bangla) with the land asking him grow whatever he liked and without bothering to pay back in cash or kind. During the vacations when we visited our ancestral village we tried our hands at pushing the bulls, making bunds for the water to flow and planted the paddy seedlings. Years passed, we didn’t pay our annual visits, the chasi ultimately usurped the land, thanks to Left Front’s policy of land to the tiller. We knew we could never get back what belonged to us and so didn’t bother to pursue the matter, living as we were hundreds of kilometers from our village, in a different State. But we continued to consider ourselves land owning farmers.
From Pashchim Bango to Badlapur in Maharashtra has been a wide arc for me. I have become a weekend farmer. I’m into farming not to make money selling vegetables or fruits growing in my farm. I’m into farming because I want to create a world, my world. So what if it’s just 40,000sq.ft. or an acre. Here I will have trees, the birds, the butterflies, squirrels and insects creating a world which is being threatened. Soon I will have bees too who will give me honey. There will be small pond to with lotus, fishes and turtles. In short, it’s my aim to create, what scientists calls as microclimate in my plot. It may sound very romantic but create I will, such a place.