It was a damn tough decision to leave a job at a large sized philanthropic organisation in India and going to a village with confirmed intention of settling oneself there. When I started to let people know about it openly and after finally putting in my resignation at the office, the reactions I received for this update were mixed, but not too mixed to get really surprised. After starting for my native village leaving Mumbai for good, I posted about it on facebook. That was also to say final bye to Mumbai, the city which has given me so much in my life. The status update got flooded with likes and comments wishing me well for my future endeavours.
Had this been even about 10 years back, I doubt whether reactions would have been that positive. Majority of my close and older relatives who have lived a secure life with government jobs have always been against my getting into private and insecure world of low pay non profits. But now scene seems to have changed. I was actually surprised by large number of positive reactions even from those from whom I would have expected some negative remark or a heavy load of doubt or plain scoffing. Many people openly said that they were envious about me since I have an ancestral village with some land to cling to and live life so close to the nature. A large number of people expressed their desires to buy a piece of land somewhere and retire on a a farmhouse, which I would be doing so early in my life.
Though I am really greatful for all these wishes which I received, I did not tell all those well wishers something. I needed all that positivity badly because life is not easy out here. Many things are hard to come by and so are the people. Current level of incomes in this area are no match to Mumbai. I went to the bank in the nearby larger village to open an account. Though it is connected to the rest of the country through core banking; I seemed to be the only one in the crowd gathered at the branch office on a market day, who could talk about net banking and swift accounts. Back at home and farm, there is very little local to call as income and majority of the monetary transactions which I am doing are just plain expenditures. My skills in agriculture are largely theoretical in nature and at personal level these are yet to be practically proven. And contrary to popular imagination of the people around me back in Mumbai, I have not retired to stay on a farmhouse having a caretaker, a hammock and a barbeque. It is difficult but I have not found it impossible so far fortunately.
I left something behind and started for the attraction of the woods which looked lovely but are actually very dark and deep. I just dont know how many miles will I have to keep. I don't even know the way. What I know is that I can a least walk.
The lines in the paragraph above are plainly figurative of course. Majority of the times I do not walk but ride my motorbike trying to avoid potholes or a protruding stone here and there while the road passes through rocky, rough and red coloured terrain.