The latest addition to the map of India and to our travel journal, Telangana, the abode to the Charminar and the mesmerizing Papikonda valley. I won't be talking more about the Warangal Fort, the Ramoji Film City, Ramappa Temple or the Thousand Pillar Temple, but, will be focusing more on the remotest parts, the life of locals, their culture and the true colour of rural India.
Most of our time throughout the entire trip to Telangana was spent in Palakurthy, a small town in the Jangaon district. The farm that we lived on was quiet remote, away from the hustle and bustle of cities. The factor that contributed to the happiness of the people there was the limited desire to own materialistic joy and the fact that they weren't much exposed to technology put a limit on their desires. Though there were certain drawbacks that led to social backwardness and a relatively low pace of development, the rural folks did manage to welcome visitors with a smile and make their stay as wonderful as it could be.
The minute we left the highway, we started getting glimpses of rural life. The village roads narrowed down to the point where overtaking was close to impossible. On these roads, we often came across tree trunks that were put there by the local kids who blocked the roads and stopped vehicles passing by to collect what we named the Holi Toll. They didn't ask much, a rupee or two made them happy. We had a great conversation with the kids. They told us they wood use the money for holi celebrations and cook a meal for themselves. A 10 year old in those remote parts did know how to cook a delicious meal.
After sunset the kids used to play drums, sing and turn everything they could into an awesome instrument. It was always fun watching their creativity. They entertained us alot. These kids didn't know Reebok, Puma, Levis, but they knew what happiness was.
No matter how small your world is , it can be made the most beautiful with friends and a spirit of joy within your soul.
Another great thing about the trip was the palm wine, the delicious chicken cooked in wine & the serenity of the lush green fields.
"Not only is it a source of income but also a custom," Mr. Somayya said as he started climbing to tap some fresh palm wine for us. Freshly tapped palm wine is a good source of healthy nutrients. Close to 30 lakh people in the state of Telangana depend directly or indirectly on palm wine for livelihood. More than 150 tappers have died in Telangana since 2011 and around 500 suffer from disability after they fell from the palm trees. In the remotest parts, where they are struggling to make ends meet, it is hard to imagine how these palm wine tappers manage to pay a dowry of lakhs of rupees to get their daughters married.
Carving a different state on the political map is easy, reaching out to to people in remote regions isn't. I felt like the rural soul whispered to me, "Yes, you do have the privilege of traveling in a bullet train and reaching where your heart wants, but I cannot simply stay here listening to your travel stories, or I might have to sleep on an empty stomach tonight"