Saturday, February 25, 2012

A real getaway Dhosa!

farmhouse sighted!
entrance to the farm house over the foot bridge
Last year, while I was already vacationing in Kolkata, I had gone to the Sundarbans with my parents and my own family of husband and kids. My father has some friends who have a kind of a farmhouse just near to Sundarbans. This is a small village called Dhosa. We went there in our own car and it took us approximately 3 hours to reach that place from Kolkata. The distance is not much, but the roads are narrow and the villages congested so we have to drive slow.Now, the farmhouse I am mentioning although built recently had yet to get electricity and it was actually built on reclaimed silt. This area is a delta area and islands have formed over the years.

 For years these islands were too salty, because of the continuous backwash of the sea into the land, to be irrigated to grow anything. But, the villagers have made a kind of a natural dam and diverted the backwaters so that they could use the silt formed islands for irrigation. This new farmhouse was built on one such large silt island.

We reached there just before the sun was going down. When we came to know that there was no electricity we kinda panicked, we are so much dependant on it that without it we just cant survive. My kids took it very sportingly. They had a mini torch with them and it was good time to play torch torch now. My father's friend was the host and he was sorry that he couldn't arrange for electricity or any generator for us. Although he more than made up for it by arranging a most sumptuous feast for us, with fresh fried fish and prawns from his own ponds. I didn't know my daughter was such a cat, for she pounced on the fish like one and I had to show her my eyes to control her eating. Can't blame her though, it was truly the best fried fish I ever had.

fried prawn.
After dinner, we were shown the sky, and wow, my kids were ecstatic. I remembered my childhood days where I spent my vacations at my maternal grandparent's village. The moon and the stars have so much light, that if there is a full moon, we don't really need street lights or even perhaps a night lamp. Granted you can't see a whole lot, but it was not entirely dark. I think we just want too much of everything, we don't even consider less of anything. The concept of bare minimum is unheard of orthodox and maybe sound stupid to people today.

I was woken up early in the morning. Our host had brought something in a pitcher. It was the juice collected from the bark of a date tree over the night. My father urged me to drink. I was unwilling to even taste it. I was sleepy and asked them to keep my share and I will drink later after I have brushed my teeth. Papa said no, drink it NOW, this is not any juice which can be stored even for minutes. I raised myself up to a sitting position and took a sip. You wont believe it but it was a mind blowing nectar. I was told that they make gur (jaggery) out of it for personal home consumption. I later researched on juices of barks and found that they have such healing properties, which is actually used to make medicines. One can't think medicines as being anything but bitter, but this one was a pleasure to drink.
the eggs came from these hens.
desi eggs!
Soon the sun was up and we had to leave for Sundarbans tiger reserve. We got ready and washed ourselves  using as little water because even fresh clean water had to be pumped from the ground using a very small generator which could only do little for now. We had real desi (not poultry) eggs which were small and had a brownish cover. We had brought with us bread butter and jam. The host had even called his family over who had reached there in the morning to join us and brought with them fresh rosogollas for us.
man who shook the tree
berries I picked.
There was a small island behind the farmhouse and it was encircled with wild berry trees. This man in the photo shook the trees so that the ripe ones fell down and we picked them to eat, mmm delicious, my mouth waters as I write.

That's our motor launcher.

We went in a Jeep to a place called Sonakhali where the motor launcher was waiting for us. The whole launcher was booked for our use. We had taken cooks and enough ration for 2 days. The journey began with all of us excited to see the tiger. even in the launcher there was no plug point where we could recharge our mobiles because of which we had to switch on our mobiles and use it only when we had to make any calls. I couldn't wait to get back home to proper electricity and (ab?)normal lives!!

sunrise the next day

We did not see any tigers in the trip. We spent a couple of days away from the maddening materialistic and electricity dependant world and enjoyed nature as it is. Saw the moon and stars and the next morning got up early to take the breath taking view of the sun rising.

 How much we are chained to self created necessities! Can we go back to the era where there was no bond? Less dependency on things like electricity and mobile phones? What choices have we made? To choose unreal things for 100 % real things. In life when one is stuck in a situation where one has to make a decision to choose between the lesser and greater evil, have we instead chosen the greater evil?

written as part of Kissan 100% real blogger contest


  1. I recently met dad friends at dad office ,,he was glad to see me and the very next day i was gifted with loads of organic fresh ,giant size prawns it was awesome !!! lov arshii

  2. i am a big fan of the juice collected from the bark of date tree :).. i love it .. btwn nice 1 bhabi :) enjoyed reading it

  3. lucky u to have lived for a day with out the dependency of electricity, and mobile,we villagers do not realise what we have here until u city folks tap our richness to see.