A few days back I met with a friend while going for a walk. She seems really glowing and happy. It obviously caught my attention ( blame my lady instinct). With a curious smile, I asked her the reason behind it.

She quite happily answered my question “Work made me shift to a village, amidst nature and. Now I can understand how much a city can harm our human life.”

I was late for office. After a crossing a mile I got in between a heavy traffic. Obviously, with a lot of frustration, I pulled down the car window and asked a man beside me in his SUV , the reason behind the heavy traffic. He murmured in anger , “ A bunch of villagers protesting against govt axes on farming land. These people will never understand the value of our time, as they have lot of free time to do things.”

I visited my grandparents home on my holidays. While roaming around the village, I saw a huge line of people carrying big baskets. When I went closer, I was perplexed by seeing villagers were gathered there to collect drinking water provided by the govt tank. Seeing me confused, one elderly woman said, “Our ponds are getting polluted beta, as cities are growing towards us.”

I received a call from my aunt who stays in my father’s native village. She sounds excited and very happy and thanked me and my company for giving a job to her son and his few friends. She was extremely delighted while mentioning that all her worries related to her son has gone and now they do not have to sleep in hunger if the crops fail this year.

Last Sunday, I was talking to my maid. She lost her husband a year ago in an accident. She has two beautiful daughters. I asked her why she has left her maternity home and alone juggling with the upbringing of her daughters. She looked down and said “Didi, our village doesn’t have a college for higher studies. I do not want my daughters to work like me. And this city is giving me everything I need. Here, everyone is alone and on their own. This city is teaching me what is called independence.”

I was sick and lying at home alone. Desperately hoping to talk to someone I called my childhood friend who stays with her parents in my native village. She picked up the phone and we started talking. Between our conversation, I asked her what she is going to cook for dinner. She calmly answered “ Today nobody from the village will have dinner as all of us are praying to god for the well being of a child from one of our neighbor, who fell sick yesterday. Everyone in the village loves him so much that no one has the desire to eat today.”

I was being invited to an opening of the first hospital in my native village. When I entered the hospital, I saw the basic diagnostic machines were not available. I questioned the Dr. who hails from that village only. He replied, “ Let the electricity be regular in the village, availability of the machine is not an issue.”

My five-year-old daughter got very fewer marks on her environment subject. After providing her home tutor for the same subject her score made me very angry. I frowned at her asking why she could not even answer how to keep a tree alive. She cried and said “ How do I know Mumma? I have never planted a tree and we do not even have a real tree in our house.”

I went to a local market with my friend when I visited her native village. A lady was selling few embroidered cloth handbags. I was shocked to see a particular bag which was a replica of my newest bag that I bought from a designer store. With curiosity, I enquired about the price. To my utter amusement that lady was selling it in 100 rs and for that same bag, I paid 3000 at the designer store. Looking at my face my friend commented, “ We often neglect the root while having sweet fruits.”

I reached home and my daughter came running towards me and demanded raw mango to eat. I laughed at her and to lighten her mood I told her to order pizza. She nodded in disagreement saying “I talked to grandfather today. He said no pizza, a burger can replace the taste of plucking raw mango from the ree and having it with a little salt. Please get me a mango tree mummy.”

One of the employee from the housekeeping department was standing in a corner looking sad. I noticed and went to her and tried to know what happened. She answered in a low tone , “Ma’am my wedding has been fixed. I need to go back to my village.” I congratulate her and asked her why she is not happy. She told me that her father has fixed her wedding to a boy who doesn’t earn well nor educated , just because he belongs to an upper caste her father insisted her to get married. She looked up to me and asked , “Ma’am , How do I make my father understand that all these caste and gotra are only superstitions?”.

There was a farewell ceremony in my office. I wished the officer who was retired best of luck and asked about his retirement plan. He happily said , “Done with the city life , now want to go to the muddy fields , grow some crops and inhale fresh air.” I smiled at him and bid him goodbye. Next day, I had an orientation session with a new appointment who has come from a distant village. I asked him whether he is excited or not. His eyes were shining when answering my question, “Ma’am , my life has changed after coming here. No more daily struggle of money, electricity, water etc. Now even I can watch a movie on weekends. Back there I had to travel almost 40 km to watch a movie.”