A few weekends ago I went along with 2 friends of mine for a day at a farm, for what would be an unforgettable weekend amidst nature. Our host went out of his way to make us feel happy and entertained. Being well into his sixties he had no clue how to entertain a group of young girls, but he had a huge farm with banyan trees and lakes, horses, a humungous collection of music and great food. The night we reached we stayed up late into the night talking to our host and getting to know each other (and to some extent getting to know ourselves better too). The next day we hiked up a mountain post a cup of coffee and returned famished to a breakfast of simple local fare. We talked, read, listened to music, talked some more, had a huge breakfast and before we knew it, it was time to leave. The time we spent at the farm really made me think about the kinds of lives we lead. Lives largely revolving around traffic (pollution) or food (junk). Whatever little time I spent at the farm reinforced a few ideas that I already had about life, but in the hustle bustle of daily life, we tend to forget. The four simple truths that were reinforced for me during my stay at the farm are:
- You don’t need much to be happy. The farm had only the basics. Lots of nature and fresh air. Great company. Simple food (ragi balls, curd rice, briyani etc). Stimulating conversation. We slept peacefully. Trekked up to the top of the mountain in the fresh air.
- Harmony is key. Like balance in yoga. In the farm there were horses, birds, a chameleon on the wall of the hut, rats, bisons, frogs, gekkos and human beings. And everyone coexisted. Even though there were supposed to be snakes in the farm we didn’t see any when we took midnight trips to the bathrooms with our flashlights. When we were trekking up the mountain on a horse we only heard the bison (and the syce knew how to deal with him) but didn’t see him. It was a nice feeling to know that there is space for everyone and a place for everyone.
- Simple pleasures are the unforgettable ones. The farm didn’t have a pool and fancy catering. We slept on cots with basic, clean and comfortable bedding. Our beds faced a lake which was surrounded by trees. We could see the moon through the trees. As we lay down to sleep I wanted to record the sounds of the night forever in my memory. This resolve lasted for a full 3 seconds before I fell into the best sleep I have had ever since I can remember. Simple pleasures are the best.
Things can’t replace human interaction. Coming back into the city I was taken aback by how much ‘stuff’ we accumulate or ‘treat ourselves to’ when true enjoyment doesn’t really lie in clutter. A good meal, positive company, fresh air and nature can show you infinitely more than a big screen TV.