Away From Home
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Lakshmi M Bhat
Suresh was walking back home after a day's hard work.
There were dark clouds in the sky and he hoped to reach home before it rained.
Initially the rain here had troubled him, in his home town it did not rain like it did here.
His home was the town of Badami and the lack of rain had created so many problems.
There had been no rain for two years; the land was parched.
They had to walk for miles to fetch water, life had become one continuous struggle.
Some of his friends had told him that there was plenty of work in the towns in coastal Karnataka.
He did not want to go to the big cities, life was a struggle there too; he was used to open spaces, though he did not mind small towns.
He and his family had left the Deccan plateau and descended to the western ghats, where they had found work in this town.
Due to educational and employment opportunities in big cities the local workers had moved away.
The work he did here was different from what he was used to back home, here there were areca and coconut plantations.
Every morning he and the others gathered in the town centre; from there the land owner's agent would take them to the plantation.
Many more people had come from his region and they all lived in the same area.
It helped a lot because it prevented them from feeling homesick.
Once every three months they went back home; there was a night bus which was very convenient.
When they returned home, they carried sacks full of provisions like jowar, ragi and other millets.
These were very expensive there.
Life was different and he missed his home.
But he was happy because he could now send his two children to school, he wanted them to study and lead a better life.
This was his dream, he and his wife prayed daily that this dream would come true.
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