Rural Rendezvous

Kriti Bhardwaj(She/Her)
Posted September 22, 2020 from India

"My cow has just given birth in the afternoon! You can't leave now! Wait!", Manju, a strong built woman in her late thirties, practically prostrates herself on the bonnet of my car. I moan. After a terribly demanding day at the bank, I have little emotional capacity for drama, I think to myself.

I get out, trying to negotiate how I would take part in festivities tomorrow since it was already dark and I have an hour of drive on roads that barely exist.

She looks bewildered. I stop speaking mid sentence. Two years and three months of knowing the village and I am still unlearning a lot of things. My experience tells me I have misunderstood yet another fairly obvious social protocol. 

Her boy of 8 yells from somewhere behind, waving a red thermos as he sprints towards us. "Milk!", he pants, "Milk, take!" He thrusts the thermos so deep into my belly that I stagger and lean on Manju's shoulder for support. 

"It is enough for five people. Don't waste it. Milk from a cow that has just birthed is very precious and healthy." She takes the liberty of pinching my forearm as she judges me, "You city people all swollen from outside but got nothing inside."

She drags away her son who is now blissfully lost in exploring his artistic potential on the canvas of fine sand that covers my car every evening. 

I blink. The thermos in my hand feels heavy. I find myself in prayer, as I sweep my eyes through this village. I hear temple bells echoing off in the distance and I jerk back to the anxious thought of dark skies and long drive. 

I am invited to stay over by atleast half a dozen homes as I speed past their thatched houses. I reach the fields and it is hard to see if the little lights are cattle eyes reflecting my headlight or tiny lamps. I see fire burning in one of the fields and I slow down. Dasrath recognizes me and runs out to scream, "What a great Moong harvest this year! We are just thanking Mother Earth for her blessings, wait, I'll get you a sackfull." I sigh. A sackfull of Moong, in a drought stricken desert village. I honk and gesture how I'm in a hurry.  I was never good at Math. Especially ratio proportions. This village teaches me new lessons in the subject. Somehow, the lesser you have, the more you give. The more you give, the more you have?! 

I find myself in prayer again.

This story was submitted in response to From Poetry to Paintings .

Comments 10

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Sep 22
Sep 22

Dear sis Kriti, Welcome to world Pulse!
I feel that you must be very special to these women. And your story, wow. What a heart warming reminder that we all have something to give. You have somehow captured the spirit of generosity and penned it down in a simple way that seemed to leap off the page and into my heart. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on your first story. I hope to read more from you on here.

Love, Kike :)

Much thanks for your love and encouragement! I'm so elated on joining and writing with you all

Hello, Kriti,

Welcome to World Pulse, and congratulations on your first post! I'm glad that a new voice from India is rising up.

I like visiting rural communities. People are so warm, friendly, and caring. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of what it's like in India. You're a great storyteller! Please write more. We love to know more about you.

Welcome again to our growing sisterhood!

Thank you for your words of encouragement! I'm definitely going to write more. Much love!

You're welcome, dear. Please join us at our Encourager Party. Kindly register here:
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Thank you

Sep 23
Sep 23

Hi Kriti,
Nice imagery. I like how you ended with the poser..."the lesser you have, the more you give. The more you give, the more you have?!" Thank you for the great insights in your story.

Meanwhile, welcome to World Pulse and congratulations on your first post. We desire to read more from you. Keep sharing, please.

Love and hugs,
E. J.

That is so sweet and encouraging of you ! I am glad you enjoyed reading it. I am looking forward to sharing more stories with you all.

Nini Mappo
Sep 24
Sep 24

Hello Kriti,
Welcome to World Pulse. I chuckled through this story. There is so much truth and humour in it. I love the drama of obstruction so that you can wait for the milk. At first I thought the cow was going to need a vet and you were to fetch him/her or something haha.
The swollen on the outside is true too. Your friends are wise and generous, and it's true, the more you have, the less you give. That is a valuable lesson to learn from your friends. They make me feel loved and cared for, even if I have received nothing from them.
Have a Moong party dear...goes well with sour milk too, wink wink )
It's nice to read a light cheerful, entertaining story. Thank you for sharing. Now I want a cow with a calf :)

Hahahaha I love your energy!! Thank you for taking out the time to read and appreciate it. Much love !