A peep at village life | Milaap

A peep at village life

When I was in the hostel, my friends always made fun of me whenever we talked about things related to village life. They would talk about going to the paddy fields for cultivating crops and of the celebrations during harvesting season while I just sit and listen to them scratching my head not even knowing how a paddy field looks like.

To know village life had been on my wishlist for a very long time. My parents used to tell me stories about their lives in the village when they were young. Since then I had always wanted to experience and know what village life is like. I have had the opportunity to go for field works in rural areas during the course of my education but not like this one. This time I got a glimpse of village life at a close range. Now I can proudly tell my friends I not only saw paddy fields but even walked into it. The satisfaction that a hungry person gets when food enters the stomach after many days of starvation was exactly what I felt when I walked into the paddy field where a group of women was cultivating. It may not be a big thing for others but finally getting to see things that I have always wanted to see is more or less like a wish come true.

I always get to see and learn new things every time I go for field visits. In the last 8 days of my field visit in four villages of North Bengal – Falakata, Khagrabari, Mathabhanga and Dhupguri I saw and learned many new things. First, is the paddy field and the various types of crop cultivation such as tobacco leaves, cabbages, potatoes, etc.


Then I got to know about the different means of livelihood the people are engaged in, besides agriculture. Among those, betel nut peeling and cutting work is what interested me the most. Being a person who likes eating betel nut, I was drawn to the house where betel nut cutters were busy with their work.

One of the workers explained to me how the work was done. Pointing at the four big pots placed on fire filled with water and betel nuts she said that the betel nuts are boiled first before peeling it off and cutting it into pieces. And the shells are dried properly in the sunlight so that it can be used as fuel for boiling the betel nuts.

It was remarkable to see how the betel nut waste was reused as fuel. They do not waste anything and make proper use of the resources that are available to them. Not only is this organic but money saver as well. They do not have to spend extra money for buying firewood.

Now, after seeing all of these new things, a new wish is added to my wishlist which I am eagerly waiting for it. Hope that I don’t have to wait long for that day to come.