The day dawned clear and bright. I awoke, feeling happy and excited. That day, I was to go to Lohegaon on a camp as a part of the NCC training. Lohegaon is a small village on the outskirts of Pune. 30 of us, cadets, met at the ST bus stand.
Amidst great hustle and bustle, we boarded the bus, gingerly threading our way through baskets and
bags of vegetables and all that cluttered the passage. Only a few found seats to sit. I noticed the villagers staring at us with frank curiosity.
May be it was our uniform that caught their attention. As we left the crowded streets of the city, the scenery changed to one with hills and greenery all around. To pass time we sang songs, cracked jokes and made a lot of din.
Before we realized we had reached our destination, the journey was over. We looked around and found a good place to camp, a small distance away from the village proper, and set up our tents. All the time a-iook of village urchins was following us.
A few brave ones even darted in and out of the tents giggling amongst themselves. After a wash and snack we went to meet the village Sarpanch. Dada Vatunbe, the Sarpanch, welcomed us and entertained us to a lovely feast of ‘bajre ki roti’, ‘dal’ and fresh fruits.
He then took us around the village. Huts made of mud and straw were found all around. A few one-storeyed dwellings were also there, with cows and buffaloes kept on the ground floor. The villagers talked with us with
They were full of questions about the city, and about our own activities. Back at the camp, as we rested for the night, I was struck by the absolute calm of the place.
Oh, what a great bliss it was to get away from the unending stream of cars and trucks continuously blaring their horn even if it was only for a few days! The peace and tranquility, we experienced, was really welcome.
Next day we awoke to the sound of the village cook.
We washed at a brook rumbling nearby, with clear and cool water fit to drink and cook with. The villagers insisted on cooking our meals for us and would not take ‘no’ for an answer.
We toured the village again, visiting the ‘Balwadi School’. Then we went to a few houses and were really surprised that they had electricity, radio sets and even a community Television provided by the Government for the whole village.
The chief occupation of the villagers was, of course, agriculture. A number of crops were grown and sold in the cities. I was delighted to see tube wells, sprinklers and fertilizers being used by the farmers.
Truly, the villagers were progressing towards a good future. The men left their homes at dawn to work in the fields, coming home only for lunch and some rest, returning again to till the soil until dusk.
The women helped them during the harvesting of the crops. They also sold their handicrafts to a local cottage industry, thus contributing their share to the family income.
The next day, much to our delight, was the ‘Basant’ fair. It was held at the village temple. The villagers were attired in their finest clothes and fully finery. They first prayed at the temple, then surged towards the temporary bazar or ‘Haat’ which proved to be the chief attraction of the fair.
The shop-keepers were selling just about anything, ranging from wheat, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruits to ribbons, pins, bangles and sweets. An old juggler and an acrobat were the star attraction of the fair.
How they made us laugh with their wonderful acts and comic looks. What a gayful atmosphere was there, with young boys screaming, laughing, running hither and thither and girls having a gala time trying out bangles, colourful ribbons and new clothes!
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Then it was time for us to leave. The week had passed so quickly. All left with a heavy heart but full of rich and varied impressions. The simple, free-loving nature of the villagers and their hospitality really captured Our hearts. Gandhiji has rightly said, “India lives in its villages.”
I Truly, the camp at Lohegaon was an experience that left an indelible mark on my mind.
Short Paragraph on Life in a Village
As compared to life in a city, in a village is slow, but quiet and peaceful. Here you will see no hurry and scurry, but only the contentment of day-to-day living. It was with a village in mind that W. H. Davies thought of the time and opportunity that people to get to ‘stand and stare’.
The villagers wake up to the sounds of poultry chucking, farm animals lowing and birds chirping in the trees. After the morning routine is over, you will see the village folk go about their daily activities.
Some go to their shops. Never will you witness the hustle and bustle of the busy city in a village. Farmers go their fields. The only ones running about will be children at play.
Life in a village goes on quietly through the day. People know their work. Everyone lends helping hands to the other.
The afternoon meal is simple, but eaten with relish. This is followed by a short nap. Then back to the routine. The work is tough and grinding, but the worker stronger and more enduring.
Then there is the relaxed walk homewards when the sun sets in the evening sky. After that there is the deep, well-earned sleep.
Nothing much happens in a village. The village life is simple and peaceful.