Balaji of Kodai
As I drive up to Kodaikanal, there’s a horse racing in my belly. This is because of the ghat road, and also because I’m waiting to see my friend, Balaji. No, he’s not a little boy or an old man; he’s my favourite horse in Kodaikanal.
Balaji is black and white, and has a long tail and a shiny mane. His coat is soft and has black patches that look like they’re painted on. He usually wears a red bridle, but sometimes it’s blue. I guess he has two! His cushioned saddle makes the ride bouncy and fun.
As ‘horseman anna’ helps me up on this beautiful horse, I’m the happiest little boy in the world. We start off slow and then start trotting. Soon I’m galloping away on Balaji. I’m excited as we go along the roads of Kodaikanal. I’m suddenly taller than everybody else. My parents take pictures of me, and my grandparents wave out to me as I ride by. I talk to horseman anna and learn a little more about Balaji every time I ride him. This is my favourite thing to do when I’m in Kodaikanal. I love horses and dream of having one as a pet. Maybe Balaji could be my pet some day.
Walking around Kodai Lake is fun, but galloping around it is always better.
Farming with my Grandfather
My grandfather – Dadda – and I go to our farm, Orange Kaad, every day. We feed the chicken and walk around the field. I love watching the tractor. The mynahs and other birds have a feast as the tractor ploughs the field.
Dadda and I plant mango trees and do the ‘mango tree dance’ to press down the soil. I learn new words like drip irrigation and vermicompost. Dadda turns on the sprinklers and lets me run under them.
We go off-roading in Dadda’s jeep. Sometimes we make sure we get stuck so that the tractor can pull us out.
My time in Orange Kaad is my favourite part of the day. When I grow up I will drive Dadda’s tractor and plough his land for him.