The month of December, is always a beautiful one. As a child, this was a busy time for us..the Potato wedges had been planted and the green little leaves just sprouting...in another beautifully laid horizontal bed, Cauliflowers, would just start sprouting. Since there was no manure apart from Cow dung, the Cauliflowers would be in different disoriented shapes, some small, some really tiny and some just about average..the real fun was however in digging the potatoes when the plant died..it was a family event, with a great rush to see, who could dig out the maximum number of potatoes. With large gardens, we grew potatoes that would sustain us for months.
We used little unused circular Graph sheets to make little caps to protect the small cabbage or Cauliflower saplings, the end of each secured with little sticks broken off the twigs, lying around the Mango tree. This was so that the plants were not eaten by the likes of the little Bulbul bird perched on the fence here. Assam has plenty of Bulbuls and you'll see them restlessly twitching their tails here and there on many a fence or philosophically watching the winds...
Pearl S Buck in her book, 'The Good Earth' wrote,'Thus Spring wore on again and again and vaguely and more vaguely as these years passed he felt it coming. But still one thing remained to him and it was his love for his land. He had gone away from it and he had set up his house in a town and he was rich. But his roots were in his land and although he forgot it for many months altogether, when Spring came each year he must go out on to the land....When he woke in the dawn he went out and with his trembling hands he reached and plucked a bit of a budding Willow and a spray of Peach bloom and held them all day in his hand.'
Anyone who has touched the earth, caressed it and molded it, grown and given life through it..is perhaps transformed for life..Of late the call of my land has been persistent..you can perhaps take the person out of the land, but never the land out of the person.
( Photo Courtesy Bhagyajit Bhuyān )