Siddu's Story - Sirsi

Once upon a night, the people of Aarohi got a chance to go to Sirsi and stay at George uncle's farm. The journey started at platform 10 at 10 pm on a dark, cloudy night. Waiting were we until finally the train arrived, Bidding farewell were we, Awaiting us was destiny!

There is a saying " No pain no gain". It so happens that the eleven hour journey to George uncle's farm had lots of pain (headaches and nausea in the Ghat section!) but was worth it. After a long morning of travel, who doesn't find a steaming hot bowl of upma mouthwatering! 

After having our fill, getting onto the bus for another long ride seemed extremely boring but at the same time interesting as we could look around Sirsi. Two hours later, humongous rocks lay in front of us, at a place known as Yaana rock formations. Delicious lunch in front of a beautiful scenery, what can be better!

Waterfalls. Hmmm! We all are familiar with that word. Seeing waterfalls makes the journey eventful. Getting in makes the visit all the better at Vibhuthi Falls. Cool refreshing water after a hot day cools off all the stress. A nap is the best way to calm your body down. Eating like a king and then sleeping with the cool breeze slapping against your face made it an interesting day.

Waking up to the chirping of birds with a cool breeze blowing seems like the perfect way to get up. As we got closer to the kitchen, the aroma of the food traveled to our mouths. Hunger quenched, we found an interesting day ahead of you. Forty-five minutes later, we were looking at a herpetologist, a person who studies snakes. Every second there made us want to learn more, from stories and discussions to learning about venomous and non-venomous snakes. After all these discussions and stories, we were actually facing a snake – non-venomous, a Rat Snake!

We got the opportunity that comes once in a blue moon: holding and touching the snake! A platter of various food items awaits us. There is always a goodbye that is not meant to be told, more of a au-revoir, we will come back again. Thanking Suhas uncle, we move to the next event of the day, which is a forest walk. The cool shade of the trees after a long sunny morning felt so refreshing. Coming back to the farm for a nice hot shower was so irresistible, after which steaming hot chapattis and channa were digested. BURP!!!! Memories and more.

A friend trying to wake you up by dragging your sleeping bag is not the best way to wake up but it kicks some energy into you. After yet another mouthwatering breakfast a fruitful day awaited us. Bearing the scorching sun for a walk through George uncle's farm was worth it. From seeing the bio gas plant to the milking of the cow or the paddy fields to the banana plantation, every thing was enjoyable. Sketching a farm requires lots of patience. After a big lunch, we walk, well rather storm through a knee-deep stream full of many things: fish, rocks, leaves, even some stench! Our curiosity always increased.

We walk our way back to the farm smelling of all sorts of stuff, our body covered in slush. After a cold stream walk doesn’t a hot water bath feel comforting and cozy? A group gathering follows, we meet about five families. A nice, hot dinner after sharing stories and songs and a documentary on our environment was screened.

Getting up early is good for the body. The air is so pure and the first breath gushes into our lungs quickly. Drowsy as I am, I can hear only the chirping of the birds. Another beautiful day ahead with a banana leaf breakfast!  Wait! Banana leaf? Does that mean lots of food? Yes, I think that’s what it means! Anyways, schedule…do you always have to ask me that question? Okay, fine! But only this time. Paper factory, playing in the river and meeting Appiko movement activist. Happy?

Have you ever seen a paper factory? Probably not. The size of that factory is about two times the size of normal house plus a backyard. Watching live paper being made by a human being made us wonder, ‘Can we also do this at campus’? Making that paper took patience and skill. It may look easy but making it will be super tough. Getting a tour around the factory makes you learn tons. Literally. One of the most fascinating machines was the paper-slicing machine because it would slice about hundred papers at one go and they would be so thin.

Moving on. River. Hmmmm! What comes to your mind when you hear the word river? Water? Yeah. Getting in and swimming? Man, you’re certainly good at reading minds. Dude, I do read people’s minds, that’s how I knew you didn’t take a bath today! So where were we? Ahh, the river! The river we went to was the site of the Appiko movement. The river was full of leaves and stones, so I decided that throwing rocks was much better. People started joining me and we had a friendly competition on whose rock could jump the most number of times.

We were served lunch on a banana leaf. Eat, eat, eat and just eat was what happened. From the juicy applams to the mouth-watering curd rice, we kept wanting to go for more. Oy! So lucky. Meeting the Appiko movement activist was fascinating. That sounds just like the Chipko movement…and it was exactly like the Chipko movement. I won’t tell you the story as it will spill the beans. Questioning went on for about half an hour after we had to leave this wonderful place.

On Day Five, waking up a bit later than usual, we all had to pack our bags as we were leaving that day. We ate breakfast and said our goodbyes to all the animals on the farm. Okay, but remember this is the last schedule you will hear. Crafting with banana fibre. We reached the village and were welcomed by none other than the uncle who taught us to weave. We are served a big lunch with assorted items of food that I don’t dare to mention it to you. Learning to just do the movements took quite a long time and then weaving with it took even longer. Phew! That was tiring.

Afterwards, we say thank you to the uncle. The trip has come to an end. We also gave a hearty thanks to George uncle and Sushila aunty without whom this trip would not have happened.

THE END