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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Charm of village life

Rameshinder Singh Sandhu , Hindustan Times   February 21, 2013
First Published: 09:17 IST(21/2/2013) | Last Updated: 09:19 IST(21/2/2013)

I love going to villages since its offers a completely different experience, which is far better than the urban world in many ways. In fact, village is like a family where everyone stays connected. Unfortunately, in cities people do not even know their immediate neighbours.

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When I am on my way to a village, my excitement knows no bounds. I consider myself lucky that my childhood was spent in a village. Later, I shifted to a city which I did not like much. The place where you have spent your childhood remains special for you throughout life. And, for this reason, I love my village, Khasa, which is close to the Attari border.

There are neither big showrooms nor fancy shops, but I still love villages. There are also no cinemas or luxury shopping malls. However, villages have plenty of simple shops that meet the daily needs of villagers. People, too, are simple and far away from materialism. They truly believe in simple living and high thinking. What I love in the villagers is also their straightforward approach to life. They declare what they are and don't believe in showing-off.

The best thing is they all know each other by name.

When I go to my village, my friends ask me questions about the city. Most of them often say, "We have heard that people in cities never meet their neighbours and one hardly receives any guests." I agree. How can I explain to them that people in the materialistic world have no time for each other, but have enough time to attain their materialistic needs. According to Alexander Solzhenitsyn, "The constant desire to have more things and still a better life, and a struggle to this end imprints many western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to carefully conceal such feelings."

I can't forget a weeklong holiday spent at a friend's village. Every day I met many people and noticed that they were excited to see a guest. I could also feel that they wanted to offer me the best hospitality. Since the entire week was so interactive, it ended soon. Every face in the village was cheerful and festive, and if you are among such people you remain truly glad all the time.

Every day, we used to go for a walk. The village bazaar I would call the Times Square since it was so lively. I saw that no individual was disconnected. I told my friend he was lucky to stay in a village as I also had spent my childhood in a village, when my friends and I used to go to the nearby villages without informing our parents to attend fairs. Later, my parents would send servants to look for us. We would roam the entire village on Sundays, which was a festive experience. But when we shifted to the city, things changed and our everyday cheer was gone. Of course, we missed the village culture and freedom.

The other day, I was going somewhere in my car. I was in a hurry as I had an appointment with someone. The moment my car entered a village, I slowed down. I could clearly feel the great and inspiring village culture that was full of cheer. It is difficult to express the entire scene in simple words and I wanted to stop and spend the entire day there. Alas! I could not stop owing to the appointment. At the same time, I understood why my grandmother does not want to shift to the luxury city home.

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