The Daily Life of an Indian Villager
The Indian villager is “early to bed and early to rise”, for he goes to bed at sunset and gets up at dawn. This makes him healthy but I don’t know whether it makes him also wealthy and wise. Before Sunrise he is up and has his early morning tea (at any rate he does in North India) and his roti. Then the cows are milked and sent out to graze in charge of a boy or two. The farmer then starts out for the fields to do his daily work-ploughing, sowing, weeding, watering, or reaping-according to the season.
About noon his wife or daughter (who has been busy cleaning and cooking at home) brings him his midday meal to the fields. And he sits under the shade of a tree and eats it, and may take a rest and a nap if it is hot. Then he works again till sunset when he trudges home over the fields to the village for his evening meal. When that is over, he sits a while smoking the hookah and chatting with his brother farmers-in winter round a fire, and in summer under the village tree. Soon after it is dark, he is asleep; for he is no reader, and lamps are dear; moreover, he is tired, and he has to be up before dawn the next morning.
So goes his simple daily life, but his work changes with the seasons, and is not so deadly dull as the life of the weaver in the cotton mill. When the monsoon has broken in July, and the earth is softened by the rain, his daily work will be ploughing. He will march off to the fields in the early morning with his plough over his shoulder, and his two bullocks before him, and plough the moist soil all day. Then will come planting and sowing for the Kharif, or autumn crop. In the autumn he and his boys and women-folk will be busy in the fields all day reaping the maize, picking the cotton, or cutting the sugarcane.
When that harvest is over, he will be ploughing again and then sowing wheat for the rabi crop, which will be reaped in the spring. Besides all this, all the year he will have his course and bullocks and buffaloes, his sheep and his goats to attend to.
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begun.
Each evening sees its close”.