An auto driver tells AMIT SENGUPTA what Agri Ministry has just predicted for Rabi crops

Jan 20, 2016 No Comments by
Yesterday I met an auto driver from Hazaribagh of Jharkhand where I have been a few times and on a query about the ‘fasal’ back home and winter having betrayed us this season in Delhi, he said the following:
“If winter and ‘real’ cold does not arrive, it will be bad for wheat, arhar, chnaa, kulthi ki daal, among others.
“If it is cold and the rain too arrives, then for at least a month they don’t have to give water to the seeds. This agricultural season ends in March-April, and the rich farmers actually do the harvest in April. When the wheat is ripe it becomes big and swollen and it is a pleasure to look at it.
Arhar and wheat are often harvested at the same time.
“He said put hing, original ghee of the cow, (gau mata ki jai ho) and jeera, as tarka, so the arhar dal becomes like an aphrodisiac. He then said, put a handful of kulthi (gahad in the hills) in any dal, and your ulcers will be resolved,” he finally said, which warmed my heart;
I have lived in Calcutta, it is truly a lovely city, I have eaten food for Re 1, and even now I can get a meal for Rs 10.
He said, Bombay paisawallo ka, Kalkatta kangaalo ka, Dilli ji huzzoriwalo ka… (Bombay is of rich people, Calcutta is of nothingness, Delhi is of courtiers)
I thought his folk memories were like the music of Salil Chaudhury who has composed so many songs on the life of poor farmers…
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