Sunday, February 26, 2012

Singoli, A place where I reconnected with my roots..

This time we were not going to any hill station or a national park or any pilgrimage place for our summer holidays. I was done with my 10th board exams and anxiously waiting for a trip of a life time. There was lot of excitement as few months back there was a foreign trip on cards. But this was not my chance as Mom and Dad unanimously decided to visit our relatives at Singoli the Birth place of my Nanaji.


Singoli is a small village which comes under Neemuch District in Madhya Pradesh.
I has a population of 20,000 and a literacy rate of 60%. It is the biggest producer of limestone in India.
We were going to stay with Nanaji's Brother Nathul Lasod who lived there with his wife for past 50 years. Their only son lived in Mumbai with his family and used to visit them twice in a year. They lived in a house which was more like a Kothi built about 70 years ago by Nanaji's Father Mr Ramlal Lasod .They also had a farm which was some 10,000 square feet and was the source of earning their lively hood.

I was 16 at that time and was at the peak of my adolescence.I was a party lover and enjoyed hanging out with my friends at discs, pubs or lounges. Going to a village and staying there seemed to be a nightmare for me.
I was really pissed off as I had no clue of how will I even sustain the ambiance of a village for even a single day.

It was decided that we will leave for Singoli on 22nd of March, a day after completion of my 10th exams.
All were busy with their packing ,specially me, as I wanted to take all the gadgets, gizmos and other stuff I had for making my survival possible, I was behaving in a manner as if I was going to be a contestant of Survivor India. 

We started at 10 in the morning and reached there by 6 in the eve..I thoroughly enjoyed driving the Car at a speed of 130-150 on the high way as it seemed to be the last exciting thing left on the world to me.
When we entered the village everything looked messy and obsolete to me. The lanes were narrow, houses looked like they were built in 18th century and people had no sense of fashion and hygiene..

Finally after 1 hour of crazy horn blowing , frustration and agitation we finally reached the so called Kothi of Mr Nathulal Lasod.


They were waiting for us anxiously. As we got down they welcomed us whole heartily.
It had been years after I meet them so couldn't recall their face.

There house was very big and looked more like a historical monument which hasn't been white washed from ages. There were no marble flooring and furniture appeared to be of Akbar's time.
They showed us our rooms and told us to get fresh as dinner was ready.

Our room had nothing to be happy about as it was as old fashioned as the house.
I was reluctant to take dinner so early as it was only 6:30 pm.
Everything which was there around pissed me off and I told dad to run away from here as soon as possible, may be by tomorrow itself.

Unfortunately Mr Nathulal Lasod also came at the same time inviting us for dinner.
He had listened to what all I said, but very calmly he came near me and politely said, " I know you are a kid of city and you are not habitual of living in such ambiance , but believe me you will have the time of your life ,if you follow my words for this complete week.

I was so embarrassed that I didn't knew what to say and agreed to whatever he said.
After having dinner, as everyone was very tired, especially me , we decided to sleep.

****I used to call Mr Nathulal ji, Chote Nanaji as he was younger brother of  Nanaji. So from now onward I would be referring to him as Chote Nanaji only.****

As we were going to our rooms Chote Nanaji told me to that we had to go somewhere at 5 in the morning as he had some surprises planned for me and told not to worry as he will wake me up in time.
OMG 5 in the morning , I don't remember if I did woke up anytime before 7 in my life.
Anyways I went to bed at 10 and waited for the next morning to know about the surprises.

"Ankit wake up beta, Chote Nanaji is calling you", said Mom.
Why these people get up so early, i felt very irritated as I was about to hug Irina Shayk at the Crane Beach of Barbados...:P


I asked him where were we going and now he should reveal the surprise, but he told me to follow him and wait for the right time.
When we came across a farm he told me that it was there's and they grew different vegetables like ladyfinger, Cucumbers, green onions and also pulses and cereals.
It was before dawn and the crops appeared dancing with the cool breeze.
The panorama was beautiful and so natural.
We have to get to the top of that hill which appears at the other side of this farm, affirmed he.

I was gasping for air as the path to the top was not easy and it took all my stamina to even stand still.
Come on my boy we have almost made it, exclaimed he. I could see a 60 year old standing at the top and motivating a 16 year young champ to take those remaining steps.
That day it was very much clear , why my Nani used to say that people in villages have tremendous stamina and that it was all because they loved nature and were very close to it in all aspects. They are very well connected with their roots.


When I reached top I was completely tired and out of my senses, but suddenly a gust of cool breeze touched my face, blowing my hair. What I saw next was phenomenal, tiny extravagant shades of orange and pink appeared in the sky. Shortly after a fiery ball enhancement started to make it's way beyond the mountain ranges at a distance. Sky was filled with colours of unexplainable magnificence that had no known name. I felt like I am on top of the world with nature charming me with all it's elements.


Chote Nanaji asked me how was I feeling like, but my ego came in middle and I deceived him by saying that it was okay. Next we started with Yoga. He told me about different asanas and exercises which kept him fit and healthy and I followed him. 
It was 8 and we were finished with the first task of the day. Next we headed towards home as it was time for breakfast. But for me it was time for defecation as I could feel the pressure intensify.
Most of the times we used to curse God for the indigestion problem and take lot of medicines just to have a smooth process of defecation. But today I was actually cursing myself for being so dependent on medicines and keeping away from the benefits of being natural.

But there was a problem, where to defecate..??, as I could see no Sulabh Shauchalaya there. I asked Chote Nana for help. He told me there is a small lake which flows near to their farm and I can easily become HALKA there..:P
Was he telling me to defecate in open in front of all, in open??... I was feeling so embarrassed but had no other option.
When we reached the Lake I quickly found a big rock behind where I could hide myself, well there are  many other things you can do behind a big rock, but this time I was alone and in lot of hurry..:P

The place I choose had the water stream just flowing at a hand's distance. Man I had the best defecate of my life .Lolzz i am describing this also but can't help..:P
After I was done we headed towards our home as Garam Garam breakfast was waiting for us.

After we were done with filling the hungry stomach, I was feeling desperately to take a shower as my complete body was stinging and sweating.
But there was another plan which Chote Nanaji had in queue.
We will go to a nearby river side which is just 10km away from here and don’t worry this time we will go on my bike, he chuckled.
We were accompanied my father also.

When we reached the spot there was no crowd there. C Nanaji told us that this place was rarely known to the people. In no time he climbed up a rock which was 20 feet high and made a dive in the water. 


Wow, that’s super cool I thought and tried myself too. I was feeling a bit nervous as 20 feet was not a small height, but then I made my move and went straight into the water. I could see small fishes passing by my ear, it was a breath taking moment for me, so natural and wonderful.

After doing different somersaults and relaxing in the free flowing water for some 2 hours we finally headed back home.
It was already 12 and lunch was at our disposition.
Dal Batti with a lot of pure ghee glued me to it. I loved having a lot of ghee in my food and this time I got exactly the same. I ate like a vociferous hungry boy.
We generally used to eat with spoons but this time we used only hands, and I bet food tastes more delicious when we use hands rather than spoons or knifes.


Now it was time to sleep. Though my complete body was aching ,it was nothing in comparison to the marvellous confrontation with the natural beauty that I had today.
I know there was more in store for me, so I wanted to take a sound 2 hours sleep to refresh myself and be ready for them.

Clock struck 5 and it was time to wake up. So what’s next, I enquired.
I am going to Shyamlal’s shop as I have to buy some household goods, are u coming with me, asked C Nanaji.
Sure I said without any delay. There was a big chaat centre near to his shop where farmers and other working people used to sit and chit chat.
People used to discuss there personal as well busniess problems.
I was amazed so see the feeling of brotherhood they shared and the determination to solve others problem whether it was big or small.

After some time on the road side I saw few children playing Gilli-Danda.


I kept watching them for some 15 mins and couldn't stop from asking them to include me also.
I had played it when I was 5, but after that I didn’t had a chance to try my hand on such traditional Indian sports. I was lucky after 11 years and didn’t want to miss a single min of it. In no time 1 hour passed, but now we had to go back home as dinner was about to be served.

This time it was Puran Puri that made me go crazy. Puran puri is a delicious sweetmeat which is made of jiggery and this too is eaten using lot of ghee.


I eat till my stomach was about to explode. After dinner was over we went for a short walk. It was dark everywhere and also the roads were vacant as people usually sleep around 9 there.

Chote Nanaji took us to a temple which was some 200 years old and had an 8 feet big idol of Lord Shiva. It was a small temple but had a beautiful artwork.
After taking the blessings he headed back to home.

We sat together in the dining room for having general talks, like how was life going on, what’s new at our part and blah blah.....
Topic of discussion was now moved to the recent movies which were released and reviews about them. I recently saw Raj which was a horror movie. When I finished describing it, Naniji started narrating different incidents of ghosts and spirits she knew. It was really fun listening to those incidents, but what I enjoyed the most was her expressions and tone modulation while narrating an incident.
After some time everyone started feeling sleepy, so we went to our respective rooms to have a good night sleep.

Next day was scheduled for FARMVILLE, well not the Farmville which we play on FB but working on an actual farm.

It was harvest time so we had to manually cut the rice crop using the Sickle.
Sickle is a hand held agricultural tool which has a curved blade. I had seen in movies that sickle was mainly used to kill a person, this time though it was put to right use by me.

After we were done with harvesting it was time to head back to home as I was feeling damn hungry and wanted to take Lunch as soon as possible.
This time it was Bhindi ,Curi and Pullav, a perfect combination for lunch ,as they were all my favourite.

After Lunch Dad told us that he got an urgent call from office and we have to leave in an hour or so. I was very much disappointed as we had planned for a week but had to leave in just 2 days. I had started loving the place, it’s people, the ambience , desi food and above all my amazing confrontation with nature and its beautiful elements which are always going to stay in my unforgettable memoirs.

It was also time to keep aside the useless ego and confess the truth to Chote Nanaji.
I wanted to tell him how much I loved his company, the surprises he planned for me and all the efforts made by him to make me reconnect with our Indian traditions and mainly to the supreme and kind nature.

When we were about to leave, it went in front of him, touched his feet and than hugged him with tears flowing down my eyes. I can hear the sobbing sound too, means he too was crying. He told me that he missed his son the most and he found a glimpse of him in me. I apologized to him for my attitude and rude behavior. I was feeling very guilty for bringing ego in between relationships specially when the other person considered you as his son.

Chote Nanaji had also taught me a lesson ,which otherwise comes after paying a heavy price. i.e. to always remain connected to roots in all the cases either it is about your health or relationships.

Well it was time to leave but I was feeling more lonely and sad than him. I was cursing his son for leaving parents like them alone ,who cared for him more than themselves and living with someone whom he had meet just few years back.

Parents are given a place above God. They refrain themselves from the joy of many worldly pleasures only to make them available for you.They suffer only to see you grow happy and sound. But when u get married and have a new family , never forget that family from where you are evolved...your loving parents..
They deserve lots of love , respect and care from you ,when they grow old.
Never do the crime to leave them alone, suffering.. Give them all u have..:)

This Post is a part of The Kissan 100% Real Blogger Contest on IndiBlogger..:)


  1. Really a very nice post...your Nana's house is very beautiful...all pictures are very beautiful....I also love puran-poli very much........its best frind is Maharashtrian.All the best for the contest.

    1. Thnks a lot for liking the post and pictures Seema Ji..
      I am a foodie and love to eat Puran poli and Pav bhaji when it comes to Maharashtrian dishes.
      All the best 2 u too..keep coming by more often..:)