“Green Revolution is not a revolution. It is a fraud…Revolution is an attempt to carry mankind towards happiness and spiritual infinity. Green Revolution is a great attempt to carry the farmer and consumers towards mukti…and ultimate death.” -The Philosophy of Spiritual Farming
I wish you could see me now, crouched under my mosquito net in my grass hut bedroom. The laptop spread out, my books, camera, and colored pencils fingertips away, Rihanna blasting in my ears. Sometimes with all this 24/7 nature time I have to have a techno binge to balance myself out.
The two ponds on the farm are so low that on a run yesterday I caught the cows grazing in one of them. Their sweet faces turned towards my footsteps, healthy auburn coats against the verdant bank. I stopped in my tracks, they looked so serene there. I was too late to call back my two bodyguards, who were already busy chasing a peacock and some egrets into safer tree lines yonder.
Everyday is filled with so many activities. At five o’clock, when the sun has given up for the day, we went out and transplanted some beds of okra seedlings. I also squeezed about 50 limes today to make hibiscus juice syrup, ate a lot of jackfruit, and hung some Tamil natural farming posters in the newly clean Visitor’s Center.
Tonight I smeared my face, arms and neck in a turmeric paste skin treatment. In the last two weeks I have developed heat rash, a bumpy itchy experience that I will be glad to escape when I head to the Pyrenees in ten days. Even though my heart and head have become bosom friends with the sun, my skin seems to garner some resentment. Multiple coats a day of fresh aloe vera have only seemed to make the rash spread. So today I’m trying turmeric paste. Turmeric is an antibacterial root crop, used in almost all Indian dishes for its health properties and nice color. I learned how to make fresh turmeric powder: lots of pounding with a mortar and pestle, then a trip through the blender and finally a delicate sifting to get the powder as fine as possible. I pass Tamilian women on the street who go about their day with a thin layer of turmeric paste smeared on their face. It smells like medecine, but in a good way. My skin is going to glow yellow for days.
Sifting on the veranda
Whoops, I suppose I should have told my parents that I’m planning to stay in India another year before I told all of cyberspace. Oh well. But they forgot to be upset because in October they will be joining me in Pondy for six months. I’m really excited for them to find work that is meaningful and engaging. Needless to say it will be rad to explore more of this crazy country with them. Plus I haven’t even learned how to build my own grass hut, right? If you ask me, there’s nothing to do back home until 2016 anyway…
This post is dedicated to my sister who graduated from Pacific Lutheran University this term. (Don’t worry sis, there is life after college… but then again, as my friend Niha reminded me recently, my ‘real world’ is an ashram in India…) After months of unpredicted work on the house, I finally hung the informational panels that my sister and I had created in January. Looking back, I see now how those panels started the whole snowball of fixing the farmhouse into the a place where visitors, volunteers and workers can learn and grow together. I couldn’t hang these panels until I had painted the room. I couldn’t paint one room unless I had painted the whole house. Sometimes life is filled with tiny tipping points. One small act leads to bigger victories towards a more harmonious future.