Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I should re-name this blog a “A bad dream into reality”
This blog documents the continuing ups and downs of a chosen lifestyle in Sri Lanka with particular reference to living in a rural area as opposed to urban, and attempting to farm one’s land, grow as much as possible to satisfy the desires of the consumers to whom I sell everything I grow. The most important goal was to achieve self sufficiency and have a surplus in order to release myself from being tethered to other work to subsidize my losses. I have been doing this for over 5 years and am being pressed both by readers and friends and family to give it all up get a nine to five job and live a life of luxury in Colombo, marry a wealthy socialite of which there are many waiting just to be asked, and give up this ghost.
While I still live in hope, I have singularly failed to break-even. I have no financial resources to fall back on, so I have to do other work to continue this venture and literally live a hand to mouth existence, in case my readers were wondering why I was cutting the paddy this last week. Just today, as I was doing another job, I was told that the paddy that was cut yesterday, (as you see in the previous blog entry photo, lying on the field before they are collected) was actually stolen overnight from the fields themselves. It is reflective of the rule of law in this country, where there is no justice for the average person, due to the grave injustices carried out by the elected officials, which prompt people to take the law into their own hands, knowing that they will not be caught, prosecuted, let alone punished.
I drove through the night from Colombo, after a day’s work, back to my property in Minneriya, only to find it empty. The gates were open, but my man in charge was missing. There was no sign of him and I could not wake the neighbors in the middle of the night, so I had to find a match, light a Godakumbura bottle lamp, eat the rice packet I picked up on the way, make the bed in the verandah and sleep.
The next day, I discover the man had left two days previously, leaving the keys with the neighbor, because I had scolded him for not organizing the paddy cutting as I had instructed before my earlier departure. He had pawned the phone I had given him, and had used the money to drink, and borrowed the money to go home.
Faced with this sudden turn of events, I had no option, but to immediately start the paddy harvesting, as it had already passed the due date, and a spell of rain in the intervening period had meant the paddy had all fallen, and in the muddy fields already ruined as it had got underwater, as can be seen from the photo here. The crop damage arising from this is substantial over and above the theft I alluded to.
In reality these fields if my instructions were followed and cut when they should have would have yielded an envious harvest as the neighbors said they had never seen these fields so heavy with paddy kernels, a reason for the falling with the rain.