“People come and go, these trees don’t”

June 2017… The first week at Kannarpet and day 1 of school visits… Started out in an Activa, with school addresses.. Once we got off the East Coast Road highway, we stood facing long stretches of land, with no evident indication of which right or left to take; no person in vicinity to ask around either. After a long-ish ride, we found a couple of old men sitting around. We stopped to ask the way to ‘Annapanpettai’. One of them stood up unsteadily, walked over and shared, “ Nera poi arasa marathula odachu, aala maram varaikum pona, anga oru selai varum, angrendhu near mundhiri kaatoda pona … (head straight and turn at the Peepal tree, drive until the banyan tree and drive along the cashew trees….) “ and we had lost him already- I wasn’t sure of my ability to identify these trees. The 1-week new rural inhabitant in me peeked out. I asked, “Sir, can you share directions with any shops of name boards we can look out for?!” He grinned his toothless grin and said, “ People come and go, these trees don’t. They are our markers- go find them.” And we did, find our way and so much more!
Here, is our story of #findingourway in rural India, of the #wisdom that we often undervalue, in the urban fast-paced world of ‘concrete’ development.

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