Childhood in the Countryside

Written By: / Articles / Thursday, 12 May 2022 17:11

Schools have now opened normally like two years ago.  These two years were very confusing for the children living in the city.  His movement to any other city, village was restricted.  His activities were confined around the house.  Since the last few months, when the markets started opening, due to the demand of children in many homes, parents started keeping domestic and foreign breed dogs, cats, rabbits, parrots, colorful fishes, birds.  Children these days have increased sensitivity to animals.
Our children also had constant demands to have a small puppy or a cat, but due to many practical challenges this has not happened yet.  One reason for our hesitation could also be the rural background, where in those days our priority was cows, bulls, buffaloes.  In our childhood, dogs and cats used to live outside the houses and it was not customary to make them sit on cots, posts, chairs.
It is said that all roads are never closed in life.  There is always a way out by trying.  So, that’s how our daughter made friends with a nomadic kitten.  She started taking biscuits and sometimes milk for him.  She started visiting him every evening.  He named her Bela.  Bela used to move between the two apartments, but in the evening she too started waiting for Kuhu at a designated place.  On seeing our daughter, wagging her tail against the wall, she would jump and cling to her feet.
When she would caress Bela, take her back, then the cat would go and eat the food brought by her.  Sometimes in such a situation some dogs would start coming towards Bela.  On seeing them, Bela jumped up and jumped to the other side of the wall.  Once Bella came to me and started trying to wrap her feet, so I jerked back.  Our daughter didn’t like this behavior!
My own experience with cats has been ‘defensive’.  In the village, for the protection of food, milk and curd from the cat, people used to sneeze ‘Sikhuta’, in which the goods were hung in such a way that the cat could not reach there.  In the kitchen of our ancestral house, there was a small mesh cupboard in which milk, curd etc. were kept.  The cat could not open the cupboard and went away sad.  In the village, children sometimes entertained themselves by throwing water over the cats.  However, in those days it was said about the cat that if she died due to persecution or beating, then the guilty person would have to donate a gold cat equal to its weight!
Animals like cow, bull, buffalo have been more influential in the memories of many people who spent their childhood in rural areas.  Large bullocks were kept in the village, as the use of tractors in agriculture was very limited.  Bulls also had names like Bhuara, Dilhwa, Safedu etc.  They were taken care of like family members.  Bullocks recognized their farm-barn and family members.  The children used to ‘hanga’ and enjoy sitting on the bullock cart with the loudness of his strength.  Bullocks understood the language of the plowman.
In a week or ten days, the bullocks were bathed, oil was applied on their horns and they were garlanded.  The cows and oxen in the village were regularly given roti at night, which was called ‘Kaura’.  Perhaps it has also been a kind of gratitude that their hard work has contributed significantly to the food we are eating!  It was customary to give the last bread to the dog.  After coming to the city, now we do not get cows and bulls, but during the lockdown we started keeping water and bread for the birds.
The daughter was happy to have Bella.  But one day in the evening Bella did not appear.  Gave her a voice, searched around, but she could not be found.  I would also go there in the morning and evening to see that maybe.  Found a cat, I took a photo of it, but the daughter said, no it is not Bella.  She started feeling a little sad.  The apprehension of evil about Bela started haunting the house.  I was a little sad too.  For ten or twelve days the daughter went downstairs to play and came running to tell that Bella was found!  Satisfied to hear this.  At the same time, he remembered his childhood and the pegs that had become deserted due to the absence of cows and bulls.  The locked locks in the houses were revealed in front of the eyes.  This question kept swirling in our mind that we have come from village to city, but are we now looking for a village in the city?

About the Author

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg

Vijay Garg is a regular contributor of Imphal Times, mostly related with Education. Vijay is a resident of Street Kour Chand MHR Malout-152107 Distt Sri Muktsar sahib Punjab. Vijay Garg, Ex.PES-1 is a retired Principal from Government Girls Sen Sec school Mandi Harji Ram Malout -152106 Punjab. He is also the author of Quantitative Aptitude, NTSE , NMMS, Mathematics of XII, ICSE numerical physics and chemistry many more books.

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