The Barren Land [Story]

An urban dweller lost her white-collar job in the pandemic situation. Not able to find a new one after struggling for weeks, she returns to her native place.  Always wanting to do something different than a desk job, she thinks day and night about what can be done. With no money or resources at hand, she feels there is no way out. 

The next day, early morning, she decides to take a walk in the village. She hears farmers complaining about the falling water levels, year after year, and paucity of water for the crops. Due to less yield many of them have migrated to the towns for temporary jobs.  She sees the thinning forest at the village periphery and murmuring streams which, few years ago, used to be gushing through the trees.

At night, as she is lying under the pitch black sky, she notices the turmoil within. Unable to sleep, she watches the barren farmland and makes a plan.  For the next two days, from dawn till dusk, she digs up the entire land with the help of a labourer and makes bunds for the water to percolate. Night after night, she waits for the rain.  And one night, while deep asleep, she is suddenly woken up by the sound of downpour and lightning. The next day, she plants saplings to turn the barren field into a small forest. And that year, the ground water levels went up,  making available more water, not only for her but also for the neighbours. In the following summer, she sees a variety of birds perching on the trees, which have now grown several feet in height. Enjoying the fruits, they scatter seeds throughout the village through their droppings. 

With one simple act of giving back to the earth, she was able to transform everything around her. And it all began in her barren land.

- The Last Nomad
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