Akshay was quite excited about his visit to the village. “I have had enough of these people calling me lazy all the time. I am so glad to get away from here, Giri mama! “ (uncle) he almost cried in relief.
“Yes, you are going to the right place”, Giri nodded and glanced at Gauri, his sister and Akshay’s mom.Gauri knew her brother would set it all right smartly.
Akshay’s dad was no more and Gauri worked hard to give him a decent education and a good life.
But Akshay’s attitude and laziness bothered her very much.
It reflected on his homework, his activities and even on the way he dressed and walked.
“Oh god, poor Gauri..as if she doesn’t have enough problems, and this boy is further increasing her worries by being so cheeky and lazy,”,everyone pitied her.
It was a long journey to the village and Akshay found the green countryside a welcome change from the overcrowded city he lived in.
‘Life seems so easy and calm I am going to enjoy this one month. No Amma here to shout at me for my sloppiness,’ he thought to himself.
Giri was highly educated but chose to pursue agriculture in his family’s land in the village. It made him very happy and contented. Akshay knew his mama had suddenly given up his well paying job to come back to the village but did not know why.
“ I should ask him about it sometime” Akshay reminded himself as he watched his Mama dozing in the train.
The train stopped at Valavanur station and his granddad had sent a tonga with a brown horse to take them to their village Naraiyur which was seven kilometres away.
The horse, Bhuvana rode quite fast and soon they were home. Akshay was overwhelmed by the love and affection showered on him by his grandparents and the visitors, Everyone was curious to see Gauri’s son.
A week passed by and slowly Akshay started noticing what was happening around him.
The kids were very different there. They were not merely simple, but they also worked at home and fields apart from walking to the school that was quite far from their homes.
Akshay went everyday to the field to watch his Giri mama ploughing in the sun and working along with other labourers. “Why should you work so hard? I thought life here was easy.” Akshay told him.
Giri laughed aloud. “I learnt so much from the hardworking Bhuvana, Gomati, Mannan and Ponnan and all those countless creatures the earth is blessed with. Now I think it’s your turn to learn too.”
Akshay blinked not knowing what to say.
“I thought my 9 to 5 job was tough, but a lot of animals perform tasks that are similar to what we do but they work for longer days and nights to just survive. Every little ant has a well defined role and responsibility, digging tunnels, finding food and bringing back to the colony, guarding and aerating the soil.
Take some time out to look at the earthworms or the termites who are working tirelessly.
I used to sit up for hours looking at the birds building their nests.
“I understood how I was doing very little and was not working hard enough.
“Look at Mannan and Ponnan, the bulls. Have you ever seen them rest? They work all day in the fields and also drag the cartloads while Gomathi the cow,Bhuvana, the horse work hard too.”
“Yes yes you too, my hardworking little star” mama said patting Tippu, their dog and he ‘woofed’ in approval.
Akshay learnt a lesson as sweet as the honey made by the illustrious bees.
Originally published at http://charukriti.org.