"I can understand the plight of people without land to live on and grow their food. But I don't understand those with land, complaining, asking for the government to help. I am sorry to say this, but their problems can only be traced to two things: greed and or ignorance of how nature works. Often, the latter. They are led astray by fertiliser, seed and pesticide companies, bore well contractors and politicians who say, I will give this free and that on credit. We have farmers seduced by exotic crops and huge profits. All in quick time. They are finally led to suicide."
Ramachandra Rao has nothing more to say. He is clearly upset.
Cherkady changes too:
Rao's elder son returned to Cherkady after retiring from the bank. He declares he's happy to be back. He has built himself a substantial house in a corner of the land. Electricity arrived two years ago. The old man suffers it albeit with some grudging concessions to its merits. There's also a small electric pump drawing water from the well.
The Gandhi toilet has fallen out of favour. "It needed just one mug of water per use," wails the old man. Alas, rice grows no more: the trees are so big and everywhere, that hardly any sunlight falls on the land. So they buy rice to eat. But Rao has preserved his success species. Elsewhere in the state, there seem many people who want to know how to survive on heartache-land. Rao travels frequently to teach his secrets.
The drive back to Brahmavar, suggests a new interpretation of the story of Eden, as possibly told by Brahma: Nature decreed that for those without greed, there is enough to live happily by. But man wanted more. He looked up from the soil and gazed into the distance. And, was tempted by chemicals, credit and fork-tongued promises. He was drawn away from the land and began to wander in confusion. Soon he was lost, and often killed himself. "The original sin", said Brahma, "is greed."
Back on the highway by the sea, leaving Brahmavar behind, the road ahead somehow seems littered with doubts.
For those interested in natural or organic farming, the life and work of Masanobu Fukuoka is essential reading. Here's is a useful link. The Fukuoka Farming Website
Cherkady Ramachandra Rao
Post: Cherkady Via: Brahmavar, Udupi District - 576215
Phone at Mr Rao's elder son's home: 08252-569299