Diligence is the mother of good fortune.
Further, in the composition, I’ll quote an experience of the day that marked a month spent in my field area, Umergaon (Gujarat-Maharashtra border) in Palghar district of Maharashtra where Under The Mango Tree runs their project on beekeeping for sustainable livelihood development.
Ordinarily, I wake up to the sun accompanied by hammering sound at the construction site next door, soon to block the terrific sight of a large set of trees. It’s an awakening to reality every morning, registering I’m away from home, even though I’ve reluctantly started referring to the new space as home. Beginning with the morning routine, I reach my computer to work. Recently, I’ve taken up a project on bee pollination service with small-scale tribal farmers to create better livelihood opportunities. This will benefit them if they rent out their bees to orchard owners who will further gain from the process in terms of yield via pollination on their crops/fruits.
Chikoo orchards are in abundance on Dahanu-Bordi Gholvad Belt, making it the Chikoo bowl of India. The day’s agenda included fact-finding and gathering useful links for pollination service with bees as well as beekeeping across countries. Maps are as fascinating to me as watching a football match. I can literally spend a day only looking at them. Post an exhausting reading spree, I started navigating the map in and around Gholvad Belt. Moreover, I spent a good amount of time looking at the routes, marked locations and ways to reach there. Surprisingly, there wasn’t any handy information available, using which I could reach Bordi in a specific vehicle, within a certain period of time, at a chosen time of the day. To escape boredom and turn this into an opportunity to explore, I decided to depart.
Making sure to catch the sunset, I left a couple of hours before. It was time to figure out where to start. Whilst finding a ride, I stood next to the turn watched by a signboard – “Bordi – 12 km“. Soon, with some luck, I was able to thumb a direct ride to the destination. Akshay, on his way back from college, now had a pillion rider for company. A few quick questions started off a conversation. It was exciting to know that his father worked at a Chickoo orchard and even he often packs boxes to earn some pocket-money. After reading about Chikoo orchards, here I was, getting associated with them. Being unconsciously curious, I clearly had a potential to gather more information. As we moved ahead, the hills separated Bordi and Umergaon, unexpectedly and astonishingly. A great chat later, he dropped me at the beach.
It was enough to get me thrilled, bright as a new penny. Receding tides had lengthened the shore, bringing in a grand view. Multiple attempts of whistles, snaps, sounds to call out every dog in the sight worked a couple of times. They were enthusiastic and friendly.
Running behind one another, we reached quite ahead. I was hesitant in advancing more towards the sea. A few prompts from them helped me go further to watch the well-composed sunset. About time I head back and leave my buddies wandering, I pondered.
It was getting late and there were only a few options to return. After few inquiries about the last bus and other alternatives to reach Umergaon, I did what I do best – Hitchhiking. Securing a short bike ride till Bordi bus stop, the kind person suggested me to wait for the next shuttle. Right at the stop, a couple of people were sitting by the temple. To ask a few more questions, I stepped up to them. They happily briefed me about the possibilities to go back.
Pramod Ji, a 68-year-old carpenter, asked me if I was new in town and if I had enough arrangements for myself. When he got to know that I’m working on a beekeeping project, his face glowed with excitement. He told me about the time he used to manage a few bee boxes. The terminologies and information he shared were factual, validating his past experience. He said that bee boxes were in demand in the village, but he didn’t know how to build them. With an exchange of useful information, I was glad to have made another connection. Noticing his insobriety, the best option was to leave.
The bus still hadn’t arrived. After several attempts, I finally got a ride. Raju, a casting crew member, and a former gym owner/trainer had a lot to share. In fact, after getting to know me briefly, he wanted bee boxes for honey. During our conversation, he was eager to know about beekeeping and its value. He even got additional avenues to my attention. Time passed by quickly and we soon reached Umergaon.
Although I had stepped out to visit the beach for sunset, several experiences and opportunities came along the way. The excursion was never about gathering information or going with a fixed motive. Curiosity and attentiveness lead me through to discover. Delusions were thrown at me frequently in the journey, only to be proven incorrect. Gladly, it turned out to be a wonderful evening and totally worthwhile.
Whatever I’ve been wanting to attain, I’ve just been going ahead and doing it, fearlessly, without any presumptions or a doubt in my mind. Sometimes, vague imaginations turn into meaningful realities only if you choose to act and DO something.