Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shooing boars

It began when Gangadi and I went to a meeting of the spring conservation committee in Mauna. The women participated in it, but then complained to us.

 'We always come to your meetings', they said. 'You never come to ours.'

'Call us and we will'. Ganga and I rashly promised

'Midnight tomorrow then. We are chasing boars.'


And so it is that one evening the two of us  caught the last bus down to Mauna.

That was the most raucous all-night party I've attended since my wicked college days. Actually, even those days were tame.

The people of Mauna had divided themselves into 5 groups. Earlier in the night, around 11pm, the groups formed, going from house to house and gaining members. They all met at the school where there was dancing and singing.

And then they diverged again to patrol  the village shouting, singing, beating tin canisters, ringing bells and lighting small fires.

Finally, around 1, the groups settled down for an hour or so in different fields for gossip and singing before moving back home.

I saw a totally different side to the women. Was it the faux anonymity offered by the darkness, or are they always like this  outside the meetings? They were joyful, boisterous and full of fun. The three men in our group were subject to ribald jokes. They would dance - and wonderfully- whenever the mood struck them.

We were in bed at 3am and lamenting the fact that we needed to catch the 8am bus. When we woke and staggered out, we were met by the women again. They had finished milking, cleaning the cowsheds, getting fodder, cooking and were now off to the fields- in high spirits.

These women humble me.


nadi said...

even boars must have danced

we will go away, but first we will dance

Tanvi said...

I miss the mountains so badly sometimes. Reading your blog soothes the ache somewhat