Living together with my sister in our own little apartment is a wonderful feeling. We both wake up together, make plans together, go shopping together and respect each other’s privacy and time. But our everyday night time routine is pretty much the same. I come home early as my classes end first. Sometimes I cook dinner, sometimes she brings dinner from a restaurant after work and we eat together in silence, staring at our smartphone screens. After finishing dinner, we both move on to our laptops. Sometimes I feel a bit neglected and flip through the TV channels while she types away at her laptop wordlessly. Yes, everyday is pretty much the same. I missed the days when we decorated our apartment together. We had nothing but big grins plastered on our faces as we painted the walls, decided on furniture arrangements and placed our own hand made crafts everywhere. But our conversations became scarce as the work load and college pressure kicked in.
During classes, one day, I sat with my best friend who kept on ranting about the lack of attention she received at home. Everyone in her family was busy staring into the screen of a smartphone or a tab. Notwithstanding their positives, it also made me realise how much these smartphones had affected our lives in a negative way. I missed the old times when we actually had TV time and movie time and absolutely none of us kids were allowed to overstep those. The rest of the time was utilised in real world interactions.
The virtual space has such a huge impact in our lives was recent and now everybody was busy sharing their personal lives on various social medias and not at home. I found various information of my sister’s life on instagram, her blog and on facebook and when I asked her about it, she said she forgot to mention it as she was busy working. As good as these gadgets and smart phones are for us to keep up with the world “virtually”, we are also being pulled away from our loved ones unconsciously.
For the first time walking home from college seemed like a dull thing. The evening would be the same. The sound of laptop keys and no conversation. As I walked past the grocery stores, my eyes fell on the bright red coloured posters on the walls. There were adverts of the stuff we used to eat as kids and enjoyed them. Then it hit me. Ever since we had moved out, we had basically lost touch with our times together in the past. We had fallen out of sync and unknowingly, allowed ourselves to be sucked in to the grand scheme of virtual reality.
Immediately I went into the shop and picked out a variety of veggies, some basic meal ingredients and our childhood favourite jams, ketchup, and chicken and cheese nuggets. The idea of surprising my sister with a meal comprising of our childhood favourites added a skip to my steps as I went home.
I remembered how we used to experiment with food using Kissan ketchup. We used to conjure up various dishes using mixed ingredients and surprisingly it all tasted really good. A strong feeling of nostalgia hit me as I got back home and started preparing a fun meal. I fried some nuggets until they were deliciously brown and crispy. I made our favourite all time egg contraption which was called “delicious death”. it basically consisted of eggs, cracked on the pan with corn, cheese, herbs, barbecue sauce and a whole lot of Kissan sweet and spicy ketchup.
My sister usually came home an hour after me so I had to move fast. Our comfort was not going to be on the dining table but on the sofa. I lit some candles and placed the freshly fried nuggets, eggs with cheese, barbecue sauce and ketchup on the table along with green veggies and noodles.
My sister’s expression was priceless as she came home and saw the various delights that waited for her. It was the perfect meal. Our smart phones and laptops never came in to the picture as we chatted and bonded once again after a really long time. An hour felt like a minute and we had so much to share and convey. We spent the whole dinner time talking to each other.
Not only did the dinner bring us together, my sister also had a surprise planned out for us. We were going to visit our mother’s uncle’s farm outside the city. I could not actually believe we were finally going to spend an entire day there. The SUV came to pick us up early next morning. We were greeted with long wet snouts and their incredibly inquisitive owners, lapping away happily in the van and becoming disgruntled every time the car halted for any reason.
We reached the farm and were welcomed by a Labrador and five more Alsatians before we were taken on a tour of the place. We crossed the hen houses and cattle sheds to reach the lake that doubled up as a fish farm and also supported paddle boating.
There were mahogany and teak lined along the path that led to the organic farm. Then there were trees collected from various regions of the world and grown in specifically controlled environment. The dogs, most of whom were adopted after being abandoned by their owners, followed us around.
Then came the main attraction: the organic farming area that basically comprised of fresh and healthy food being grown on a soil-like substrate, with no chemicals and artificial fertilizers.
I also got a very detailed insight on how to set up and run a farm as we wish to do so ourselves some day soon. From the initial financing, the planning, the yield, the profits from various segments (this was milk, eggs, coconuts, nuts, fish and organic vegetables, along with the small resort and picnic area that were let out occasionally) and the sustainability, we received every wonderful insight from our kind host, a retired chartered accountant who had lived most of his life out in Africa and had become habituated to open spaces and could not content himself with mundane city dwelling.
All in all, it was an amazing day, sans the virtual reality and smart phones, and fully comprised of real world lessons and experiences that will forever be etched in our minds and help us plan out our own exciting farming and sustainable living journey.
Tell us about your experience at a farm or in nature and how it has impacted you.
Kissan has a beautiful and touching video featuring togetherness through the idea of community gardening and everyone’s involvement and contribution. Check it out here: