Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mr. Thomas

this is as much as I have of him...
Thomas, the owner of our resort, is what you could call a modern-day Robinson Crusoe. He was a Goan by birth. He had come to Coorg for business. He had never left there since. He was married to a Coorgie lady, had a wonderful daughter, and is the most self sufficient man I have every met till date.

The same darkness that surrounded us and scared me, was his tiny world. A world that had everything his family desired, wanted and needed. He grew coffee, the best of it. Export quality as he calls it. As Indians, we would have preferred anything imported. But there is this fetish in me for the indigenous, and hence export quality was just fine. He literally gave us thesis material on coffee. He apparently used his own coffee, the best quality that was priced at around Rs. 2000 per kg, at his house. It was prepared by roasting and grinding a bean which did not have the traditional slit or the partition. Though he doesn’t live on coffee, he definitely lives with it.

He grows his own vegetables and he rears his own animals and birds. That includes cows, pigs, hens, and a ferocious looking dog. That is where the excellent Coorgie pork curry comes from. He sells the hens when they are past there prime, and same applies to all of his animals. He has a good supply of eggs, milk, vegetables and meat. And coffee too. His kitchen runs on biogas, courtesy of a device he has created himself. He is getting it patented soon it seems, for elaborate sales. He drives jeeps. He has two of them. And he belongs to the jeep club of India. A close friend of his owns a jeep dropped from a parachute during the war. He rides a, you guessed it, royal enfied – the authentic right-side gearshift one. The only times he steps of the house are when he has to dispose the garbage – a meager quantity when considering the appetite of the pigs – and to fill petrol. That will soon be eliminated as he is currently working on a biogas run engine for his beloved jeep.

Close to 10pm, he bid goodnight. He left us with steaming chicken, bitter pork and a truckload of aspirations – to one day lead his life.

No comments: