Monday, March 24, 2014

Three Days in a Rice Paddy

It practically takes a village to harvest the yield from a rice paddy. There are the cutters, the threshers and all the friends one can muster to help carry the threshing machine, carry the kolamagala (bundles of cut rice), the boys who separate the rice from the chaff and the women who feed the workers. During this harvest in a small section of land owned by a family of six, there was also me, the foreigner, who literally stopped traffic.
No one in the village of Govinna had ever seen a foreign woman traipsing about a rice paddy for one day, let alone three. Boys on bicycles stopped to watch. People stared and the smiled. Many giggled. A bus stopped – a rare occurrence since buses barely stop for their passengers to get on and off. It must have been an odd sight, me knee-deep in mud and water. Even the paddy cow seemed curious.

The bus that stopped to watch me in the paddy.
Hired workers to do the cutting. Back-breaking work.

Family friend carrying the kolamagala.

Man who stopped to watch.

Fixing food for the workers.

Another paddy, during the tilling of the
field to get it ready for seeding.

A hard job with the hand tractor.

The tractor vibrates like crazy and it takes a strong
man to keep it going in a straight line.
I know, I tried it.

Farmer stops for tea time.

Farmer works until it gets too dark to till.

Note: Sorry that I don't have pictures of me in the paddy. I couldn't find them. They must have gotten lost in cyberspace.

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