I have been wanting to write about my nostalgia for the rural life. At any given day I would identify myself as a rural kid who loves simple things than a urban youth yearning for the riches and the conveniences of the city. There are many things that I miss about the laid back life one has in a rural India compared to the fast paced urban life.
One big reason is the loss of cultural identity. More specifically, the village festivals. The summer when all relations gather at the single house whose village celebrates its “nombi” or festival. It is when, the front yards fill with noise of children, the trees shade rope cots bearing grown ups talking local politics, the houses hiss the relation gossip of women, the water bodies find the company of youth and the temple bell rings for a complete week. While the festivals like Diwali and Pongal may get more visibility, I would say they mainly are urban vacations that fits in the calendar. They remain family reunions at the most, but these village nombis are the one that really bring the community together. They cannot be recognized and holidays given because they occur at random days, and yet they contain the essence of what a festival brings. All this would be lost.
Most people of my generation in the city generally take these celebrations for granted. There always someone back at the village to make things ready when we reach there. There are people who simply know what to do when. It never occurs to our minds who coordinate this stuff? Who decides what to do when. Why these rituals happen and how just everything just happens. Even for the ones who have grown close to these things, who have seen all the planning and execution, have no idea who will do it after 10 or 20 years. Mass urbanisation has taken hold. It cannot be avoided, it is one of the necessary evils of the western version of development that everyone now has a copy of. Most villages will be empty a generation hence, perhaps there won’t be village festivals any more. Perhaps people will start viewing these festivals and rituals as barbaric, just as the animal sacrifices that accompany them has come to be. (As an aside, how is animal sacrifice more barbaric than a butcher house?