A farmhouse treat and a lesson
Knowing my fondness for rural life, a friend recently invited me to visit his farm in nearby Kanchipuram district, about 60 km from Chennai. So we set out on his Innova one late afternoon and reached his farmhouse just before the evening light was starting to fade away.
As we entered his farm, I was pleasantly surprised at what was in store. It seemed a surreal setting as some of the sights and sounds you loved most unwrapped themselves, presenting a scenario that was far removed from what you had witnessed just a while ago in the city.
The sight of cattle grazing, flocks of birds flying past, chirping happily, rows of coconut trees, and the smell of rain drenched earth lifted one’s spirits. A freshly harvested tender coconut tasted doubly sweet in that natural ambience. And as the sun went down, it began to drizzle and a few moments later it started raining hard.
Sitting inside the house, we enjoyed the rain and watched the silhouette of the hillock in the distance. The farm was spread out in 22 acres and adjoining reserve forest land. Though we never ventured into the forest, looking at the topography of the area I imagined it must be a shrub or thorn forest.
My friend had developed the farm, literally inch by inch, over the last five years, employing local people to form a driveway around the premises and planting trees. He takes his friends and family to the farm to spend some quiet time with them. “I must have brought over two hundred people here. Once, we came as a family, me, my wife and two children and we spent 48 hours here – all by ourselves. I sent away all my workers and watchman and wanted to experience the feeling of absolute solitude.”
In the night, he said, foxes roam the farm and their howling could scare the weak-hearted. He said one reason he developed the farm was because his father had always planned to own one, but never actually did. “He was always planning it, but it never came to pass. I like to take quick decisions. When I saw this land, I made up my mind then and there to develop it into my dream farmhouse.”
As we rode back, his words continued to ring in my ears. I like to take ‘quick decisions.’ I tended to agree with him. Acting quickly can indeed make the difference between success and failure.