My native place ‘Talavata’ is similar to any other village in Malenad area. A Street, few houses on one side of the road and the areca nut plantations on the other side.
Although I never stayed in my native place for long, my attachment to the place was from the summer holidays I used to spend during my childhood. There were lot of people of my age and the place was filled with fun.
The scenario now presents a very drastic change. Like all villages of Malenad, younger lot has preferred to move to cities in search of better life and opportunities. Villages have become an ‘adda’ of older people. While migration is a normal process (it happens everywhere), the void created by the migrating youth is visible. Young people bring new ideas and energy.
But few people in my village have not lost hope. Always trying to do something new, they formed a group and came up with several programs like a local newspaper, library, reforestation and many others. While few of them met with a moderate success, there were failures but it kept them engaged!!
With Jogfalls very near to the village (10 km) and paucity of accommodation options stimulated a thought process in the group about having a ‘Home stay’ concept. Instead of being contented with the reduced revenue from agriculture, this would bring a new source of income. But home stay needs huge investment which is not an easy task for villagers. While several home stays are present in the coffee belt, the areca farmers don’t have the same luxuries. Most of the areca farmers own land in single digits (in acres), while the coffee estates run into hundreds and thousands of acres.
With hard work and limited funds, they have built up a decent homestay called “Nammane”(means ‘Our Home’) inside a plantation. It would accommodate two families (8 people) easily. With all basic facilities available, it forms a nice option for stay near Jogfalls. What separates this from other “luxury” places is that the entire idea was conceived and executed by the villagers themselves. There is no involvement of “investors” who have surplus money and desperately trying to put money on lands.During recent visit to my native place, I stayed there for couple of nights many relatives were present in my Home for a function. While numerous birds around the place during evenings kept my eyes busy, the nights were silent only to be broken by the chirping of the birds in the morning.In keeping with the local tradition, non vegetarian and consumption of alcohol is prohibited. The food is Malenadu style. They also arrange visits to nearby places.
Some articles on Home stay (in Kannada):
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This is my 100th post and I never thought that I would write for so long when I started the blog!!