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Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Peaceful, Naxal-Free Village called ' Tale ' In Maharashtra

These days I remember my parental village a dozen times in a day. A small village named 'Tale' in Kolaba district, now Raigarh District in Maharashtra- a few miles from Pen and Panvel. I remember the S.T. Bus that we would catch from Mumbai. In the 60's and 70's, the bus would roughly take 6-7 hrs to reach our place.

The bus ride used to be fun. From absolute non-entities, we would become very important at the bus stand itself. I would find the driver and conductor knowing my mother and vice- versa. "oh, they are Vatsala's children. And so, me and my brother would get a royal treatment. One particular incident remains etched in my mind even today. We were going for the last rites of my paternal grandfather. As our Mumbai bound train had got delayed, my mother feared that we would miss the bus to Tale that day. Hurriedly, she took us from station to the bus stand. And rightly so, the last bus was about to leave. The tickets had to be purchased and what not. That's when my mother hurriedly looked for the conductor. And there he was telling the passengers to get in fast. As expected, she knew him. Next minute, I saw her rushing to him. Well, if you can guess the problem was solved. The bus waited till we got the tickets and climbed in. Maybe management people should learn something from this?

I also remember the Tais' and dadas' ( the elder girls and boys), who were like elder sisters and brothers, They would ask us about city life. I being more talkative, they probably found me an ideal source for securing information. On one of our visits I told them, that my father now had a motorcycle. My elder Tai asked her younger but more intelligent sister," what is a motorcycle?" " It's...a phatphati", she replied. Now as I look back, I realize there was never any jealousy in their talks. If I have to put it correctly, they were trying to learn the ways of the city life. And today I am really proud that all my cousins, Tais and Dadas are doing very well. Even better than me or my brother! Some of them have even gone abroad. Naturally, their children are doing well too.

My village'Tale" has come up very well, I am told. I think, they only lack a college now. There are auto-riskshaws and all facilities there. And so from filling pots of water from the wells, these simple village folks have come a long way indeed. It is their positive approach that has helped them, I guess. Also there were lucky not to have Kishenjis and Thackerays i.e. Maoists/Naxalites and Shivsainiks to pollute their innocent minds! Or else, these folks would have also taken to arms and destruction instead of studying to improve their lives.

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