Weekend Trip in Meerut
“Life is like a rainbow. You need both the sun and the rain to make its colors appear.”
This weekend I went on a trip to the lush green fields in the Meerut area of Uttar Pradesh. I had planned this trip for weeks and dreamt of lying in the dappled shade of a mango tree doing my knitting. However, providence had something else planned. From morning to evening there were rains and icy cold winds. Determined to make the most of my short vacation, I ventured out in the fields to explore.
The yellow mustard flowers waved to me from every field. The soft grass and clover patches were wet with drops of rain. Little birds were dancing in pools of water while the hawks were sitting huddled together in tall leafless trees. The sound of a continuous drizzle and fragrance of the soil made me feel completely at peace. I stretched a plastic bag on the grass and sat down to take in this view. The nearby canal was filled with ripples caused by the splashes of a million raindrops. Not a soul was in sight as village folk cuddled up in their warm brick homes to escape the biting cold winds.
This scene reminded me of a book I recently read - 'A Painted House' by John Grisham. 'A Painted House' is a welcome change from the lawyer kind of books that John Grisham usually writes. It is a peaceful Tom Sawyer kind of story about farm life in the early 50's. 'A Painted House' tells about the complexities of life as seen through the eyes of Luke Chandler, seven year old boy who lives on a cotton farm in rural Arkansas, USA. The Chandlers have never had enough money to paint their house but in the end paint it even though they loose their entire cotton crop due to rains. The book is basically about the dreams of a farm kid who is tired of picking cotton and wishes to be rich and live in a painted house.
Walking through the squashy mud in Meerut district in the midst of the tall stalks of sugarcane, vegetable fields, mango and orange trees I thought of the simple joys of farming. How it must feel - to wake up every morning and head to the fields for work? Far away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi, the idea of growing and eating your own vegetables seemed real cool !
Later in the day, I went to visit the Church of Lady of Grace in the nearby town of Sardhana. I heard that lots of miracles happen here and people get what they want, so I lit some candles outside. Inside the church, there were many people including backpacking tourists taking shelter from the rains. This church in Sardhana was built in 1822 by a Muslim queen - Begum Samru who later converted to Christianity. It is a government protected monument. I wanted to go see some other places too but they were too far away in Meerut Cantonment and it was too cold.
An hour later, I went to the market to look for a fake version of Salman Khan's bracelet but could'nt spot one with the right color. Small towns are the only place where this sort of stuff is available. I had bought one the last time I was here and tied it around my cat's neck which he lost a few days later.
Just before going back to Delhi, I collected some fertile mud from the fields of Meerut for my potted plants back home. It ended up being real heavy. Three hours and a punctured tyre later, I was back in Delhi with great memories of a tranquil countryside break.
Do you like visiting the countryside ?