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Netrolim, Goa: Back To The Basics

Copyright © Vulcanmind

Farm in Netrolim, GoaLast month, I took a week off and went to Goa, and one of the places I visited was my cousin's farm in the hinterlands.

His farm is perhaps 20 kilometers away from Margao, at Netrolim – and it's an amazing place.

Completely off Goa's beaten tourist track, it is a serene and bountiful world untouched by modern civilization.

My cousin took me around coconut, cashew and spice plantations in the unspoiled, verdant greenery of Goa's hilly countryside.

The facilities were rustic and functional, but I had never felt so much at peace in my life. Every care in the world trickled out of me as I walked around this incredibly beautiful spot of land.

The farm covers approximately eight acres, and the nearest other farm is a couple of kilometers away. It uses organic farming techniques and ayurvedic medicinal plants - about which my cousin gave me a running commentary - grow wild all over the place.

I watched these simple folk as they went about their usual routine of coconut harvesting, milking cows, chopping wood, irrigating fields - and planting and retrieving ayurvedic herbs and turning them into actual medicines for stomachache, skin disorders, headaches and a number of other ailments.

I even joined them in the latter, and discovered back home that the stuff I put together actually work!!

When I invited my cousin to join us for a day at our resort in Cavelossim, he declined with a smile and said his family needed him on the farm. I've been visiting Goa on and off for almost four decades now, but I had never encountered this world - the world unrelated to the tourist culture of the beaches.

I had an incredible time. We traveled all over the countryside in my cousin's jeep, visiting other farms and interacting with the villagers.

I saw a startling contrast to the legendary Goan 'sushegad' (a life philosophy of laid back lassitude) - simple folks living simple lives steeped in hard work.

How many of us have actually thought of Goa as something other than a vacation destination? As a place where locals, unconcerned with the tourist trade, go about ordinary lives?

The glitzy charms of modern city life does not matter to Goa's anonymous soil tillers. Seeing this unsuspected side of a place I've been visiting since childhood was an out-of-the-skin experience, and I learned stuff that will stay with me as long as I live...

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