I woke up at 5am as I normally do when I’m at my village. I always enjoy watching the village come alive before dawn.
My farm is about two kilometers from our ancestral home and I started walking the distance. Midway through, I often cross a lonely hut with lots of trees surrounding it. Its straight out of a picture post-card and this hut would always fascinate me. For many years, I wondered who lived in this hut for I never saw anyone in it.
That morning, I saw a low light inside the hut. I *had* to figure out who lives here and curiosity got the better of me. I shouted a hello in tamil and a voice inside invited me to come in. You need to literally bend down by half to go through the low entrance.
I enter inside and it was then I realized that the hut is a cow-shed owned by a father-son duo. Both were busy milking the four cows. I learned that the father, Ganesan, an elderly man in his early 60s used to work under my Grandfather decades ago.
His son, back when he was a kid used to be a cow shepherd. Now, in his mid-thirties, Hari Krishan, helps his dad take care of the cows and agriculture. This is to be expected ofcourse. It was then the surprise unfolded. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Advanced Tamil Grammar and that makes him the only PhD in our entire village. He does that while holding a full time job as a Tamil teacher at Gingee High School. He says he took the long and arduous road to PhD for the love of the language. He has been invited to present papers at World Tamil Conferences in Malaysia and Coimbatore.
This is what I love about village life. The sheer humility. Here is a teacher who will soon be a doctorate holder, picking up the cowdung with his bare hands and adding to the compost pile.
He wakes up every morning at 4:30am, takes care of the cows and cultivates his land. At 7:30am, he catches the bus to Gingee to teach. I love his duality of life and its clear that he adores both the roles.
People like him are the ones that I look up to. Kudos.