Sound Okay Horn

“A lot of village life seems to be about carrying sticks” — Observed by my Kiwi friend on his first trip to a village in South India.

This is a story about village life…
Of sugarcane, paddy fields and coconut trees
Bullock carts, bullocks on carts
Tamil music on Kannada soil
Rivers, bridges over rivers
Making wishes and throwing coins into rivers under bridges
Of cycles, cycles carrying sticks, more sticks and less people
The smell of sugarcane in the air

Eucalyptus trees, eucalyptus tinged breeze…
Open window car breeze
I can’t open my eyes kinda breeze
Keep-your-mouth-open-till-your-tongue-dries breeze
Breeze that knots up your hair
Breeze for the sake of breeze

Village life is about lime green walls
Lime green vaastu taking over the landscape
Of mother goats reaching up for leaves
Baby goats reaching up for milk
Endless power lines, ubiquitous, like trees
Brick kilns; abandoned brick kilns

Trucks carrying logs
Trucks carrying family planning advice
“We two, ours one”
Sound OKAY Horn
Autos carrying people, and calves
More people, less wheels

Dhabas, Dabas, Dabhas
Spelling patent pending
Tyre shops. Puncture repair shops.
Shops with tyres on the roof. Hundreds.
I exaggerate. Maybe fifty.

Tea stalls. Ah, roadside tea.
Addas. With men drinking tea.
Smoking beedi.
The kind that stare.
The men, not the beedi.
Beady staring eyes.
Women that stare more.
Women staring at other women.
Kids staring at shiny sachets in the tea stall
Five rupees can still buy a treat
Wooden benches. Crooked wooden benches

Banyan trees;
Two banyan trees with entangled roots.
One big family of trees and roots.
A family tree.

Clean breeze. I can smell the oxygen kinda breeze.
Welding shops.
Close your eyes when you pass a welding shop, shops.
Eyes;
Get the flying hair out of your eyes, eyes.
Talk to a friend while avoiding the sun eyes.
Too much breeze so watering eyes.

Varieties of vehicles.
Cycles, motorbikes, autos.
Trucks, tractors, bullock carts.
Tata Indicas, Mitsubishi Logans Renaults.
All sharing the same road.
The same road with ups and downs.
With potholes, humps, obstacles.
Sometimes roadkill, sometimes you kill.
Stray cows chewing cud on the highway.
Same road, different vehicle.
Different vehicles, same life.
But with better suspension if you're rich.

Same road. With paddy fields.
Some yellow, some green.
Old women watching goats.
Goats watching old women.
Old women with saree and no blouse.
Woman and goats couldn’t care less.

Of mothers.
Mothers that pass a Kit-Kat from the front seat.
Having a break. Having a Kit-Kat.
Mothers that swap the Kit-Kat for a 5-Star
She knows you like 5-star more.
Of mothers that know.
They just know.

Ah village life is full of sticks.
Sticks in piles. Sticks in bundles.
Bundles on cycles.
Piles in trucks. People on sticks.
Sticks sticks sticks.
And you thought it’s all about money.
It’s actually all about sticks.