Perspectives are relative, aren’t they? For a person who is born and brought up in the city, with just one tree outside her window, a whole horizon full of hills, trees, river, sky, is just a miracle. Yet, after living in a city, life in a small village in Goa can be quite an antithesis of another kind too!
A big city is always impersonal. One exists in relative anonymity and one might live a whole lifetime without knowing the people on the next street. A city is like an incognito haven where everyone can be an “isolato” and lead one’s life without undue pressure from society. In a village though, everyone feels it is their moral right and duty to mind everyone else’s business. Privacy is an unknown concept. And one learns it the hard way!
Just last week, I was invited by a boy from the village to attend a full day football tournament. I reached, after office, just in time to catch the prize distribution. There were children of all ages, grown up boys and men too, in their team uniforms. The energy in that huge unkempt village playground was so palpable that you could stretch out your hand and touch it. It could put an IPL match to shame! Each sweaty team got a prize for participation and when the winning team came to the dais, a beer bottle was burst opened and the captain of the winning team sportingly spilled some on his head, amidst loud cheer, whistles, back slaps and high fives.
Some lady came and proudly told me that one of the junior teams was trained by her. Someone came, took my arm and made me sit on the dais. Someone suddenly called out my name on the mike and requested me to give some of the prizes. How did he even know my name I wondered?! Well, I found the whole proceedings quite quaint and fascinating.
There are few moments in life that are always remembered just because of the sheer collective positive energy of a community joining together as one. It was the whole village coming together to celebrate the efforts of their sporting teams. Everyone looked high on life. I guess it was one of those luminous moments in the lives of the young and the old, when all petty squabbles, quarrels, gossip, grudges seemed to be forgotten in that one larger unifying event, and the mirthful laughter all around. It is only here, in this small village does one understand that “it takes a village to bring up a child”. Could a city ever aspire to such holism? It’s all a matter of perspective…..I guess.