Someday I hope to befriend a villager, just when he hasn’t taken a break in a while, and while things may be going well, and he feels a sense of sameness surrounding him. I’d like to know if he would “leave it all” and settle down in the city. Not in a financial sense, because that would be a no-brainer. It’s the sameness of it all that I want to know more about. Perhaps people are the same everywhere – their daily sameness gets to them and they want to jump on the other side of the fence. They usually have a fleeting experience of the romance it offers; and they imagine, perhaps it has more to offer than what they experienced in that one weekend.
I am no different. The village, the river, the lush fields, fresh air and such, where I’ll grow tomatoes and chillies all day long, all year-long. A laid back life that’s all laid out to a very fine detail. The power of imagination bestowed on us is a prolific scripting tool. But escaping from the sameness is not easy. When I recently decided to exit a sameness, it took me almost a year to scrub away the scent of that sameness. While we may know something in our heart, the mind has a muscle memory of its own. The conflict is not an easy one to resolve. Needless to say, it was extremely difficult. Comfort is a synonym for sameness, and, depending on which word we use (and mean) it can be nice and cozy or boring and lifeless.
I started growing chillies and tomatoes in the congested window sills that Bombay flats offer. It was to be a prototype in a pot for the fields that were to come. The plants grew well and flourished, but bore no fruit (or vegetable, in this case). I justified the stunted growth of the plants to the lack of space and the polluted air in the city; and imagined, the wonderful job I could do when I would “leave all of this and go to the village.” But that justification died an almost instant death, when I outsourced the management of the plant to an expert — my mother. The chilli plant flowered. My mother took over and a month later there were three chillies. Both my parents have green-thumbs. My father, well, he was banker. Different sort of a green-thumb.
I have since concluded — under protest, that due to circumstances beyond my control — that I have brown-thumbs; perhaps an ancestral gene that chose to express itself after deep slumber.
One plant, which I took care of, once sprouted three beans. So, perhaps, I have brownish-green thumbs.