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Recently, we spent a long weekend at a farm. Lived in a hut. Yes, a real hut made of bamboo and thatched roof of hay and cloth. We slept on the floor on a mattress with a blanket, woke up to the sound of birds that we couldn’t recognise and the soothing melody of the flowing river. The next night, we slept under the shimmery starry sky, feeling the cold wind on the bare parts of my skin and sighing every now and then to the sheer beauty of nature. Now, let’s put aside the romanticised version of my trip to a village and get to the real deal.

We travelled a good 7-8 hours to reach this small village nestled in Pali, Maharashtra – Uddhhar. It was all I had thought of, and more. No electricity, that meant no Snapchat or Facebook for the rest of the trip. That made me question my decision of ever wanting to come here! Nevertheless, it soon dawned upon me that I chose to be here to feel that lost sense of belonging with nature.

Now, something about Tushar Kelkar whose passion gave rise to this place that he likes to call ‘AtmaTrupti’. He just celebrated the one year anniversary of this project and he has developed a community around things he’s passionate about. Be it eco-architecture or organic farming, he’s spreading the word through social media and trying to build an open community of like minded people who’re interested in learning the nuances of these activities through practice. The people who visit his farm are either nature lovers or friends who just want to lend a helping hand to him.

When we visited him, he had just finished planting watermelon in his fields. And a few days ago, he posted the saplings that have grown beautifully and it gives me a pleasure that you’d understand only if you’ve created something on your own – grown a plant, cooked a dish, written a poem, anything!

What we loved most about our sojourn:

Nature loving: Witnessing breathtaking sunrise and sunsets with hues we hadn’t discovered yet! Waking up to the sound of birds chirping, chasing fireflies, sitting by the river bed with our feet soaked in half mud, half water, running barefoot on grass, living with the absolute bare minimum. (I now have new found respect for people living in villages, closer to nature.)

 

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Misty smoky mornings

 

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The river stream by our hut

 

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Greenery all around

 

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The melodious sound of flowing river

 

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Beauty!
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Evenings like these!

 

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Setting up our bonfire

 

Eco architecture: Tushar did a workshop with us on how to build a geo dome, from scratch. The feeling of accomplishment that followed after we saw that dome take shape and stand in the farm was incomparable!
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Learning knots

 

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Good enough

 

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Working with only ropes and bamboos

 

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Dome building in progress

 

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And it’s done! 🙂

 

The village experience:
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Living in an actual hut – Check 🙂

 

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Compost toilet and bathroom built in the farm

 

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Rise and shine

 

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The real alarms

 

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Our food being cooked in the village

 

Making friends:

 

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The cutest moment from this trip 🙂

 

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Experience of a lifetime…
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Bonfire near our hut
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Image Courtesy: Wishwasdeep Srivastav Photography

Anyone who wants to visit Tushar’s farm can get in touch with him at +91 9545675871. He will be more than happy to guide you throughout the trip and make sure you have a fun experience at AtmaTrupti.

Thank you so much for your hospitality, Tushar! 🙂

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