An imaginary visit to a Village in Gadha Saptshati times…(4)

By the time you reached the village you find that it is sunset already and things are getting to be engulfed under the carpet of darkness very fast. You walk on, into the village and along the dusty street. On either side of the street, you find huts surrounded on all sides by thatched fences.   You find thick and wide leaves of heavily grown caster oil plants hanging out from over the fences here and there. You wonder how strong they look, the leaves of the caster oil plants, imagining at the same time the strength of the men and women inside the huts. But you are in no mood to enjoy these thoughts. As the darkness is fast encompassing you, you are in a hurry to find some shelter for you for the night, to rest. You have no other way but to ask some one for shelter.

You shout from outside a hut you selected randomly.  A woman opens the door, finds you outside the fence and comes out.  You wait until she is out into the open area between the fence and the door of the hut.  You hear the smooth sound of the fall of her feet on the earth as she walked towards you in that half-darkness and after a while, you hear her call out “who?”. You tell that you are a new comer, a stranger to the village and you are in need of shelter for the night.

You are asked to come in, but only reluctantly, for which you feel pained. You, however, reconcile to the situation and accept that it was but natural.

You are offered a place, an elevated platform normally used as a sit-out during day, outside the hut.  As per the custom of the village, you are also offered a large bundle of rice straw to spread out and sleep on it, in the open and under the sky.

By spreading the rice-straw, you prepare the bed over the designated place; make yourself comfortable by covering yourself with the only cloth you have on your body and try to go to sleep amid the loud noise of heavy barking of the street dogs emanating from some distance away.

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