It’s not about spending a happy weekend at a farm but completing a total exodus from the urban jungle and landing up in the middle of a bucolic world. A million questions immediately start darting back and forth when an idea like this one takes birth. Is it worth the effort? What are the odds of a comfortable survival? More importantly how does one kill time on weekends, and how often does one need to come back to the city to replenish resources?
Devika Nadig & Vijay Gupta
Devika and her husband Vijay are like any other average middle-aged couple. What separates them from other couples however is the fact that they have given up living in the city, to move to a village for the last one and a half years. Speaking about it Gupta says, “It wasn’t an overnight decision for us to give up the city life and move to Girivan in Hotale Village which is about 40 kms away from Pune.”
Planning and execution
“Be a visionary,” says Nadig. “One of the most important point about moving away from a city is to be able to plan your way of life in a village. If you are planning to settle down permanently then buy land and construct your own house. One can easily buy about an acre of land for about 20 lakh in villages,” she says, adding, “Girivan, where we stay is a small private hill station at Hotale. There is a bigger village at the foothills, called Kolvan, from where we get all the items for our day-to-day needs.”
“As far as buying land in the villages go, earlier it wasn’t an easy affair for common people to ask banks for the loans. However as of today, it is not hard to obtain the necessary permits,” says Nadig. Some of the common problems that one does need to adjust to however are power cuts, the varied flora and fauna, and adjusting to a sudden change of environment, she feels.
“In order to sustain a life in the village or a smaller town one needs to decide about the type of careers one can pursue there,” Nadig says, adding, “Social work is ideally suited for a life in the village. Other occupations include teaching, or even agriculture if one happens to own farmlands in village.” Both Nadig an ex-school principal and her husband an ex-corporate sector employee now run an organisation that helps train students, teachers and educational institutions and young entrepreneurs, called Shikshangan in the village.
Entertainment and connectivity
“Entertainment and connectivity can be issues that can plague city dwellers from moving to villages, but thanks to technology, we can easily bank upon mobiles, internet and satellite television to fulfill these needs,” says Gupta.
Ajay & Padmini Naik
For Ajay and Padmini Naik the decision to quit the city was a blessing in disguise. Both of them had jobs with the Sanjeevan Vidyalaya in Panchgani a small picturesque hill station about 100 kms away from the city and moved out 16 years ago. Speaking about it Naik says, “For me moving to a smaller town which had a human element attached to it was the crux of moving out of Pune. Luckily Panchgani offered a small town and friendly people, as well as the sense of being close to nature.”
Planning and execution
“Shifting out of a city to a village is not and should not be an impulsive on the spot decision. There are various facets that one needs to consider,” Naik points out. “In our case, since we are working with a school we have been provided with semi-furnished quarters, but for someone who is planning to set base in a small town it would be wise to first enquire about the real estate prices there.”
“It takes time to adjust to the simple life of the villages or smaller towns, as compared to the city. So there can be times when you feel that it was a wrong decision to move out from a city, but eventually once you settle in, it’s a different world altogether,” he adds.
“Nothing comes for free, not even peace and tranquility,” laughs Naik’s wife Padmini, “As far as settling in, in the initial days was concerned we had chalked out our finances and since we were both earning well, it wasn’t much of a hassle. What however was a hassle was the unavailability of many basic commodities for which I would have to rush down to either Satara or Pune earlier,” she adds.
One of the most important things after moving into a village, or a smaller town, for working personnel is to be able to juggle your professional and personal life. One needs to ensure that children have proper means of receiving good quality education amongst many other such issues,” says Naik.
Entertainment and connectivity
As far as entertainment and connectivity is concerned modern technologies help in making life stable, feels Padmini. “Also the school where I work has a huge library, which goes a long way in dispersing boredom. We only come down to the city to shop or during festivals to meet my extended family,’ adds Naik.
Final verdict Devika and Vijay
It really is about time that people decide to head to the rural world to be able to reconnect with themselves. Despite the initial obstacles, which are minimal as compared to a city life, the feeling associated with living in a peaceful unadulterated habitat is amazing.
Ajay and Padmini
The feeling of being able to come back to a house where you feel connected to, is something that cannot be put down in words. For us, the feeling stems from the fact that everyone knows everyone in a small town and that is the best part of living there. One gets to romance the brighter side of life everyday.