#SoCS June 25, 2022

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “product/produce.” Use one, use them both, use them any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use both. Have fun!

Some years ago, my father-in-law was staying with us for two weeks. One day I asked him if he would narrate  memories of his younger days. He agreed. Every afternoon he remembered and I wrote down what he had to tell me of long ago days. He was born in 1925.

He lived in a small village most of his life. He was an agriculturist. People were quite self sufficient in the villages. Those were the days of joint families. Senior members were in charge of the different areas of work like finance or taking the produce to the arecanut market in Mangalore or looking after paddy fields and so on. Vegetables, paddy and coconuts were grown for daily consumption. Areca nuts and black pepper were sold. Areca nuts were taken in bullock carts to Kumble where the nearest railway station was located. As the train to Mangalore arrived early in the morning, the bullock carts were loaded with the produce the previous night itself. As soon as that was completed those in charge left for the station. The distance to be travelled was eleven kilometres and that took the whole night.

There was a lot of poverty in those days and thefts were common. Usually there was a train of bullock carts with sacks of areca nuts. Once a robber stole almost a sack full from the last bullock cart and the robbery came to light only when the sacks were unloaded at the station. I smiled when my father-in-law narrated that scene because it reminded me of other incidents that took place in my father’s childhood far away in Hospet around the same time. My father and his friends loved to pull sugarcane from the back of fully loaded bullock carts 😊. Once they were caught by his father 😊. I wonder if they continued their pranks.

Those days were so different from our time. Most people are the products of their times. I suppose it is true for all ages. Listening to my father-in-law I understood that in their time people were controlled by the rules and regulations made by the community. Those rules were implemented hundreds of years ago. People did not really question them. Life went on as it had for generations, at least in villages. Very few people questioned the customs and traditions and those who went against them were ostracized. Unfortunately, it happens now too. But nowadays many more people have the freedom to question the rules and customs and make their decisions.

These photos and many more are from my father-in-law’s younger brother’s collection. Many years ago I had taken photos of the old photos in my digital camera.

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. Due to the pandemic I could not go to the Home for the mentally challenged for two years. I had been going there since 2011. I have started going again. I was happy that some members remembered me :) All of them are an important part of my life. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made our lives richer.

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