We start from Tamia, in Madhya Pradesh, towards our next destination Patalkot which is around 20km/35minutes. Passing
We start from Tamia, in Madhya Pradesh, towards our next destination Patalkot which is around 20km/35minutes. Passingthrough corn fields and picturesque landscapes, we reach Rathed lookout point where our guide Pawan Srivastav points out, ‘That is Kareyam in the far sight.’ We take the road again and reach a point where it ends in a dense mango grove and the sign reads ‘Kareyam–0km’.
We walk through a corn field where Kamal and Budia-bai welcome us to their mud home. The family, belonging to the Bharia tribe, relies on the corn field for all needs. They also grow pumpkin on the roof of their home. While we are getting to know them, Kamal runs to the field to get fresh corn. We enter the house and sit down on the ground while Budia makes rotis on the chulha (clay stove) and, simultaneously, grinds red chillies for a spicy pickle. In the meantime, Kamal returns from the field and takes the control of chulha to roast fresh corn for us. He has also brought a fresh cucumber from his neighbour’s field. We listen to their livelihood stories and watch our meal being prepared. Budia-bai serves us with fresh farm food in the middle of forest. And it’s delicious!
Kamal also tells us how they cook keukand bhajiya (fritters), which has medicinal properties. As the staple crop of the region is corn, they make makke-ki-roti, which is eaten with green chaane-ka-saag, a dish made of chickpea and mustard leaves. Kutki chawal, or local millet rice, is their favourite. The rice is accompanied with bhejda tamatar chutney, a tangy tomato relish. When in season, they also make aam ki gutli (mango seeds) and barbati (cowpeas) ki sabzi.
After lunch, we take a walk around the village to savour the simple village life. We see a woman putting a layer of mud on top of her house in preparation for the Diwali festival. We head back as our guide reminds us of the sun going down in early hours here in Patalkot.