Gharghoda may not sound so good to the ears that for years have been accustomed to hearing names like Delhi,Mumbai, Bangalore or London but believe me it is a good place to be.
Situated in Raigarh district in Chhattisgarh, Gharghoda owes its name to the many a ancient houses that have stables in their backyard. Ghungrulal, a 95 year old young man tells me an interesting tale about the time of 1920s when this small place was first hit by the wave of Indian Independence movement.
He vividly remembers that it was the time of Basant and the monsoon was at full fury and the whole village thought that the time of Pralay has come. But the next day , the Sun god took mercy on them and the pouring too stopped. And it was on that day that a man with a thin stick having an even more leaner body mass index of maybe 23 came to his village and told them that he is looking for any kind of help in his war to drive out the Firangis from India.
The villagers after a long and a much soulful deliberation which spanned more than 3 years and 6 months decided that they would support this man who called himself MKG by providing him with horses that were found in abundance in their village.
And the guy called MKG immensely moved by the help proudly christened the village Gharghoda and moved ahead on his long journey to to the neighboring village which he not surprisingly named Hathgola. No prizes for guessing why he named it so.
So much for the name. But there are many more interesting things here. First of all there is no internet connection here. Do whatever you wish, climb the highest tree, scale the largest fields but still you will be spared the trouble of being addicted to the internet.
Though the buzz in the local superstore is that this place will soon have Wifi connectivity , a program that has been sponsored by the Bill and Melinda gates foundation and until then the Gharghodis have decided to continue accessing their Hotmail and Myspace accounts through the various high-end blue tooth enabled sets that they bought from the neighboring Bihar.
I find this place as more of a resort than a metro-village. The one that is shown in the brochures of Club Mahindra. I mean you will be amazed by the kind of services that you have access to. Starting from the natural spa, to the fragrance of a fresh,wet dung that enthralls your every viable senses, to the dry mud bath that you can never miss even if you want to.
The sense of being attached to mother earth when you hear the sweet mooooooo of a beautiful cow is so over powering that one feels that how on place can we afford to live in concrete jungles where the only moooo comes from a dyslexic boss.
I get goose pimples whenever I hear Basanti, Kumari, Baijanti calling me "O shehri Babu jaldee aana". The honesty that comes straight from their heart makes every words of Bryan Adams composed Straight from the heart so believable.
And my sense in god is strengthened whenever a man carrying a gun and chanting Lal Salam knocks on my door and ask whether 'All iz bell with me."
There are many many such small yet soulfully beautiful things about Gharghoda and I will keep writing whenever I am able to free myself from this desire called Gharghoda.
A Shehri Babu...
Ps-- I will be going to Gharghoda tomorrow but I am sure that the place will be exactly the way I have portrayed it right here.