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On the Countryside in Punjab.

Cotton field, Punjab, fruit farm, countryside, offbeat travel

Through the thin white barks of Eucalyptus trees, the first rays of sunrise promise to brighten a chilly morning. I walk through a small clearing in the field, amid dark green shrubs dotted with white, and extend my hand towards what look like snow-flakes, only they don’t melt at my touch. If you haven’t yet guessed, I’m strolling amid cotton fields. The seeds have burst, and the cotton is blooming.

The smell of fresh earth, mixed with oxygen-laden air makes me feel a little high. This must be the aroma of our soil that A.R.Rehman refers to in his music. It’s hard to imagine that just 8 hours ago, I was soiling my lungs with city air. Closer to the farmhouse I’m staying at, the whiff of freshly cooked aloo parathas and homemade butter floats in the air. Everyone who’s ever lived in India has heard of Punjabi hospitality, but to experience it in a pind is not something you can anticipate.

Punjab, countryside, sunrise, cotton farm, fruit farm, offbeat weekend travel

Cotton shrubs, Eucalyptus trees, and a beautiful sunrise.

A hearty meal later, our friend and host at the farmhouse, invites us to walk with him through the fruit farms surrounding the area. These farms date back to the 50s, and land possession has been handed down to each generation since then. The income disparity between farm owners and the women that work in the farms is obvious, but unlike many parts of India, there is a sense of fairness, ownership and loyalty among both. I watch the women from the pind in fascination, as they expertly pluck the cotton from the shrubs and deposit it on a large cloth. This part of Ferozepur is one of the most fertile cotton belts in the country, and thanks to Google, I’m right in the middle of it.

punjab, countryside, offbeat travel, weekend getaways, fruit farm, cotton fields

We walk along the path between tall Eucalyptus trees on either side. Keenus are ripening from green to orange. A man is plucking ripe Guavas and collecting them on the ground. The Brown stems of Basmati Rice are ready to be cut from the fields. Men are sorting small and big Brinjals in baskets. Bitter Gourds are hiding away in their roped enclosures. Singhadas are growing out of mucky green water.

Keenu trees, Punjab, fruit farm, countryside, offbeat travel

Keenu trees. Keenus belong to the orange family, and though some of these look bright orange, they haven't yet ripened. They tasted tangy!

Guavas, Punjab, fruit farm, countryside, offbeat travel

Guava collector. He offered us some, and we gladly tried them. Easily the tastiest, softest & juiciest guavas I've ever had.

Basmati Rice, Punjab, fruit farm, countryside, offbeat travel

Basmati Rice fields.

The closest I’ve been to a fruit farm before this are the mango & leechee trees in the backyard of my house. I wonder if this is the India my grandparents once lived in, and immediately, I long for their slow and rich lives.

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29 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a beautiful post! I want to be there too.

    November 12, 2011
    • Thanks Debra, time to start planning a trip to India then ;)

      November 12, 2011
  2. Thanks for letting me share this great experience.

    November 12, 2011
    • Anytime, Patti :) Thanks for being a virtual part of it.

      November 12, 2011
  3. Really nice… Truly “India Untravelled”. Might I suggest informing us a little about where you stayed or how to get there? Thanks.

    November 12, 2011
  4. Gayathri #

    Your post makes me want to visit Punjab!

    November 13, 2011
    • :) Hope you get to visit it soon!

      November 14, 2011
  5. Dev #

    Aalo ke parnthe and Lassi!! Every Indian has a little bit of Punjabi in them ;-)

    November 14, 2011
    • True that. But discovering that bit in a Pind is something else!

      November 14, 2011
  6. Lucky you….for many things but for the Guava in particular! :-)

    November 14, 2011
    • Haha, considering myself lucky too!

      November 14, 2011
      • :-) ! That was the most inexpensive fruit we got in Hyd/India and it is the most expensive one in the Indian groceries here!

        November 16, 2011
  7. Agree with Debra above….I want to be right there experiencing all of that too! Insert “love/hate relationship with your travel blog” mode. :)

    November 16, 2011
    • Aww, I’m sure you’re hatching a trip somewhere awesome in your head :) I’m going to be swapping modes with you soon!

      November 16, 2011
  8. That story needs an ending – where is it? how do I get there?

    November 16, 2011
    • That “ending” will come soon :)

      November 19, 2011
  9. awesome pics :)

    November 17, 2011
  10. kirti #

    i am reminded of my childhood and that one day which i spent in a pind near amritsar i wish time moves backwards,pind is an awsome place to visitnat

    November 20, 2011
    • :) I can imagine. Hope you get to visit it soon!

      November 23, 2011

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