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Konkan - Just Fun or Fun and Explore?

"पर्शुराममुपास्महे मम किङ्करिष्यति योऽपि वै |"

Konkan – Just Fun or Fun and Explore?

Man left the village and took the road to the city. Within a few years, he realized that money is definitely being made in the glittering world of the cities. However, the immanence with the nature, the togetherness among people, the peace & contentment that can be found in the villages, is nowhere being found in the cities. To escape the overall city atmosphere and the stress of the work, we urbanites rush to the village whenever we get a break. At first the idea seemed good because it created a hope that it would preserve the affection of the urban man towards the villages, towards nature, and slow down or even stop man’s march towards destruction.

When the urban man’s inclination towards the village or nature reappeared, he began to give the following reasons it support it.

1. Being part of nature can relieve stress and invigorate the mind by gaining a sense of calmness and vitality.

2. The people of the village get employment in various ways that make their hard life bearable.

3. The nature in the cities has already been destroyed, but by moving towards the village, man’s love for nature will increase and the destruction of nature and consequently destruction of the man will be avoided or delayed at the least.

4. Culture and civilization of villages – Exposure to various folk arts, music, beliefs and traditions, village’s places of worship and beliefs – deities, temples, festivals, food culture, clothing culture, history, language might help to realize the influence of western culture on the city life and also how the selective western culture has been adopted by ignoring many native good ways of life might lead to thoughtful and controlled behavior of urban dwellers.

Although all this sounds very inspiring to read, the picture that has emerged in reality is very different. Read the dialogue below,

Conversation 1

Friend 1: While chatting in the office last week, we all decided that this weekend we can go to Diveagar in Konkan, that is near to our town.

Friend 2: Oh wow! So how was the trip? Where did you stay? Did you stay in a homestay built by a local in Diveagar?

Friend 1: Nope man! Put ten crates in the car. Started drinking as we started the car all the way till we reached there. We had booked an awesome beach resort to stay. It had everything like the hotels in Pune/Mumbai and the owner of the resort was also somewhere from Pune/Mumbai. 

Friend 2: Hmm! What else did you do in Diveagar? What did you see? There are places like Harihareshwar and Srivardhan nearby, did you go there as well?

Friend 1: We just chilled at the beach bro. Lots of eating, drinking and playing cards. Went to the beach once to get into the water.

Friend 2: I see. But Diveagar, Srivardhan and Harihareshwar are places with beautiful beaches, traditional Konkani houses, rich historical heritage and many ancient temples. Harihareshwar is known as Dakshinkashi – Kashi of the South. If the objective was to drink and chill only then why not book some hotel in the city itself?

Friend 1: Who has time for such things? Just eat, drink and enjoy! Why are you thinking so much?

Conversation 2

Friend 1: This weekend we all are going to Diveagar in Konkan. 3-4 families will go together. Booked a good resort.

Friend 2: What do you mean by a good resort? There are many homestays started by the people of the village. They also have good arrangements. Traditional Konkani houses, local cuisine…

Friend 1: (Stopping the friend in the middle) Yakki! Konkan is so humid, can’t survive for a minute without an AC. My children need a swimming pool. Why stay in a simple Konkani style house? And if you talk about food, we only eat Punjabi, Chinese or Western food on vacations.

Friend 2: Well but Diveagar has many things besides the sea and resorts. Diveagar village has it’s own history, local festivals. Moreover, by interacting with the women there, we can learn how they live, their clothes, their cooking, their beliefs, and places of worship.

Friend 1: Oh dear! Do you think their wavelength and ours can match somewhere? Is there any comparison between our modern dress code and their provincial one. Don’t you watch on T.V. how European-American women get along on the beach, we should at least look a little more modern when we go there! I’m busy choosing some cool outfits for my Insta stories. My reels shall look exactly like those European beaches. Who has time for such local clothes and all nonsense? For cooking, I have my own Youtube channel of Chinese and Italian food. More importantly, we worship only Lakshmi, that too in the form of cash, not even UPI 😊.

Friend 2: Well then at least visit the ancient temples of ShreeSuvarna Ganesha, ShreeUttareshwar, ShreeKalabhairav, ShreeSiddheshwar and ShreeRupnarayan there. The ancient stone idol of ShreeRupnarayana means Lord Vishnu is so neat and beautiful that it feels like the Lord will really start talking to you. Dashavatars are also engraved on the left, right and top sides of the idol. Seeing all this makes our mind happy and our children also get to know the rich Indian culture.

Not only this, but the children also get cognizance of folk art and music by getting information about the festivals celebrated from the people of the village.

Children will be amazed to see the biodiversity of the front and backyard of their houses. It will help them realize and appreciate that there is so much life around us. We don’t get to see that in cities. This will make our next generation down to earth, and a sense of gratitude will flourish in them.

Friend 1: Err! You are very orthodox. My children go to pubs and not temples. They only know pop and jazz. What is the need for biodiversity awareness? It is not our priority. Here in the city, the schedule is so stressful. So, take a break, go to such a place, enjoy yourself and come back home to start your routine.

Such dialogues must have been heard or spoken by all with some variation. But if no one bothers to think about it introspectively, then what is the use?

The cities are already ruined, but due to the human-centered, selfish approach and implementation of self-convenient Western ideas of the urban man, the villages are also on the way to decline. To meet the new and increasing demands of the people coming from the city, the villagers have begun to rush. The houses of the Konkani style have been replaced by cement-concrete buildings with various facilities. The mud courtyard is replaced by cement, so that the feet of children coming from the city don’t get dirty with soil. Ample parking space is also required. Hence the beautiful, pleasant, cooling gardens of Coconut-Areca palm trees are being cut down. As a result, A.C. and swimming pools must be provided to the sweaty guests. For entertainment, the tourists do not want local folk art, or various sounds of nature, they need flat screen T.V. and daily soaps running on them. That too is being provided. But no one is realizing the fact that the simple, ordinary villagers will never be able to win the competition with the rich people who come from outside and buy a strategic place in their village to build a huge resort, and the greed of the urban man is also never ending.

There is an article written in Marathi outside the temple at Harihareshwar near Diveagar. Note how eloquent it is.

“Believe the word that there is a God in the world. God will not be seen through the test tube of science. God will be seen through the lens of faith. This is God’s land. Let it be God’s land. Don’t let rich people try to make it dirty. You will earn the wrath of the village deity.

Tourists should not drink alcohol on the beach. Don’t disturb the peace. Our culture should be preserved. Don’t blindly imitate western culture. Tourists should not ask for alcohol and woman when they come here. You should fulfil that desire at home.

In the world, only the human species has a sense of shame. Hence, it is expected that you will bathe in the sea sensibly. Money is just a means or a tool not a goal of human life. The goal is rather very different. So, treat each other with courtesy.”

Those who can understand the above message shall make sure to convey it to the children. Only children are rays of hope as they are more receptive and open than adults.

Image Source: Vanarambh®

Also Read: Indian Culture And Nature – Part 1

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