Patna native Rajesh Kumar, an electrical engineer by profession, lived in many places across India for both his education as well as work. But no matter where he went, his mind would float back to his ancestral farm and home, which his grandfather painstakingly maintained for years.
As a child, he would spend much of his time with his grandfather on the field, helping him plant trees, or just playing in the soil. It was his favourite hobby, and the home became close to his heart, he says. He later moved to cities including Kolkata and Chennai, and never got a chance to build a home like that one, the way his heart desired.
So in 2012, when he was finally transferred to Patna, he was able to make his dream come true.
“My grandfather’s house was in Phulwadi, which is where my family and I live now as well. In his house, there was a large garden of about 7,000 sq ft. My uncle and father used to practice traditional farming there, but that stopped when they found other jobs,” Rajesh recalls.
Inspired by these memories of his childhood, the 31-year-old has built his own home with a lush garden, which is nothing short of a paradise in a concrete jungle.
‘In loving memory of my grandfather’
When Rajesh returned to Patna, he found that everything was different. Gone were the vast farms of greenery and beauty. So he decided that his own garden would be reminiscent of the Patna he remembered.
He started off by planting saplings of mango, litchi, guava, amla, neem, coconut, orange, banana and much more. “My aim was to make a small farm. But I ended up planting two-three varieties of each plant,” he gushes. There is a living area in the garden where small get-togethers can be conducted. It is his favourite spot in the farm area, he says.
Apart from fruits, Rajesh grows 20-25 varieties of seasonal vegetables. After harvesting, they are distributed to neighbours and family members.
In addition to these, there is a pond in the midst of the garden. Rajesh says he got this idea while living in Kolkata. “Every Bengal house had a pond, which I took note of and implemented here,” he says.
He engaged in fish farming in this pond. Last year, he got 150 kg of fish from it, which he also distributed among friends and relatives. This year, he is thinking of selling the harvested fish. He has also reared cows, chickens, rabbits and dogs in the farmhouse.
Rajesh’s interest in farming is now shared by his four-year-old daughter Shivi. She provides full support to her father and engages in watering the plants or plucking vegetables every day.
“Transferring the memories I had during my childhood to my daughter was also the purpose of this farm. I am happy that she enjoys it,” he smiles. “Everyone should keep that connection with nature intact because it helps us lead a life full of health and happiness. Doing something similar for the children is the least we can do. They will thank you later just how I thank my grandfather now”
Read this story in Hindi here.
Edited by Divya Sethu