Day 32 - Near Kabilar Malai to Mohanur
Nallasamy insisted I stay until the cow milk arrived to have coffee, a new meaning to the term when we impatiently wait for our coffee in the morning. Unfortunately I had to leave early as temperatures are hitting 40 degrees.
He gave me a flower that he tied onto the otherside of Colin and a coin for good luck. I'm actually a battler with goodbyes. Especially at moments like this when you know there is a strong likelihood that you will never meet again. Whilst I may never meet him and his family again - I will forever cherish this memory.
I powered through the morning and arrived in Velur when I hear a voice scream out in this weird accent.
"Where are you from?"
"I have many friends in Australia, would you like to have a coffee?"
There was no reason for me not to decline this offer.
Could only laugh as I get this question at least 50 times a day. I have had people think I'm from Italia, Brazil to even Korea and Singapore. Must be the tan.
I love characters and outliers - people who break free of the norm. Complete confidence and content with the life they live. Kumar and Suresh were two of the finest examples you'll ever meet.
Kumar, an Indian wine maker living in France, spoke fluent French. Married to a French woman and laughed when I questioned if it was arranged.
"Nothing is better than good wine, food and company... Tom, do you smoke?" as he sucks back a dart with pure enjoyment.
Suresh, a medical exporter, who has even been to Broken Hill. He had one of those infectious laughs that makes it so comforting to be around.
A quick coffee, turned into a couple as I learned more about their lives and the current situation facing the farmers in India. Only further validation to what I've seen and heard along the way.
The hardship they face is met with great resilience. However, the younger generation don't want to be farmers and with environmental issues combined with only more housing development - what implications will this have on India and the rest of the world?
We moved on to talk about an adjoining river to the Kaveri that is so highly toxic due to the dye from all the big global manufacturing companies. Thousands had to vacate their home as they could no longer farm on the land, not to mention it was actually causing a range of illnesses and deaths.
We still find ourselves - even in our own backyard - with large corporations that have far too much influence on our governments. We can only hope for the greater good that with the access and thirst for information now - that we are gradually progressing forward as a society to expose these incidents and prevention from occurring in the future.
We exchanged numbers and was promised they would call later that day to see if I needed any help. I didn't actually think I would need it...
I arrived in Mohanur and sought to find a decent location to sleep. I set up camp at a mongrel looking area outside a temple. That was until I recieved a phone call from Kumar and Suresh who happened to be passing by. They insisted this area wasn't safe and I was to move to a temple 2km away.
I arrived at my new temple for the night where I was met with multiple looks by a group of old men resting from their daily walk together. I comfortably sat next to them as we exchanged the usuals. Conversation was relaxed and not a single fuck was given. The imagery - 6 old men and one lost soul sitting on a bench. After an hour - they didn't seem thrilled about the idea about me sleeping in the temple so arranged for me to sleep in this spare room ontop of the roof for the night. Lucked out again!
I don't believe that everything happens for a reason. I've witnessed too much to say this. However, I do believe that everyone that comes into your life is there to teach you a lesson - some far more implicit than others!
I am so grateful for the opportunity to have met - what seems millions of people - during this trip. From the more intimate shared moments to the curious short conversations with people on the street.
It's this sense of love and togetherness, this caring and nurturing spirit that is so ever present in India that in reality we all share, globally. These moments have only further instilled this unified connective belief and that we all have the ability to create change in this world. In a domino effect, the way we interact with the world has the ability to change those in our lives but also how they interact with other people in the world.