Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Shaken, Not Stirred Revolution

When I was a little girl, we used to cultivate farms below the house, grow paddy and the like. I don't quite remember much of it, though I do know that labour got more expensive and we had to abandon farming because the returns were not that attractive then.

There are many houses there now.
I wish I had read Fukuoka many years ago.

A conversation about education at the house of a friend reminded me of his work. I think it was in the 10th standard that we had a lesson on him about how formal education is more to appease the societal pressures than because you learn anything worthwhile. A degree is what gives you societal acceptance. I personally would have preferred a more non formal education. Given that I hated textbooks, that thought stuck with me.

Years later, I scourged the net for an e-book version of Masanobu Fukuoka's famous 'The One-Straw Revolution'. Mr Murthy from Select hunted a hard copy of the book for me too and as I read it, scarily, there is a kindling. Maybe the fire wasn't totally out at all.

Now the book is more a technical manual on farming. But his ideas force you to open your mind. For as long as I have known, paddy is grown in a flooded field after ploughing and everything. He talks of growing paddy in a temporary watered, dry field on a land that has not been ploughed for 20 years! Not that I would know much about farming in the first place, but still the thought of not doing anything at all with the land and letting nature take its course is a little hard to accept.

It is a lovely book; the copies are hard to get. Mail me people if you want the e-book version.

That got me thinking, no matter how exposed to new ideas you are, no matter how liberal your upbringing, no matter how open minded you are, there still comes a bigger idea, a stranger notion, a more liberal thought that shakes you up. It does become hard to keep a constant open mind, to not judge people for what they do, to instead accept their different responses to different situations and not let that form the greater opinion of the person itself. Fukuoka's book, in that, isn't at all about farming, now that I think about it.

My mind is now shaken, though not yet stirred completely. The acceptance or rejection of ideas and situations and decisions or otherwise will probably be my revolution.


Debanish Achom said...

There is a saying that if things are left to themselves, they tend to go worse. Murphy's Law I guess.

Good fresh post, although I found it quite difficult to understand towards the end, the second last paragraph. Please email me the pdf; will read in my free time. Cheers!

Deepa Bhasthi said...

Yup, i know that Murphy's law!

Thanks. Was just another rant thing about people and thoughts, thats all.

And mailed you the pdf. Its a lovely book, read it.

Unknown said...

Personally, I am glad you found The One-Straw Revolution again. Fukuoka-san's perspective has guided me since I met him more than 30 years ago.

Larry Korn

Deepa Bhasthi said...

You met him Larry? Thats wonderful! Would love to hear more about him.

mtsaju said...