Summer homes and farm houses are the most sought-after to escape the madness of the city and enjoy the tranquillity of life on a farm. Nothing can beat the charm of waking up to the ‘cock-a-doodle-doo’ of a cock instead of the one that rings on your phone. Or the evening breeze coming from the fields and the fruit trees soothing you instead of the air from the cooler or from the air conditioner. Just think of a life in such environs always. There are some who chose to live a life like that..
Mujtaba Askari and his brothers bid adieu to the city life and settled in Murtuzaguda village near Moinabad. Visiting their place reminds one of the times when families visited each other and sat in the courtyard for tea, to discuss the latest news and discuss life. In about two acres of land, the Askari brothers have constructed their individual homes. In the centre of the plot is a playground, something most children these days don’t even see in their school. The three houses are built around the playground. The border of the playground is netted to save the door and window panes from the deadly strike of a cricket ball. Their life seems like a retirement plan but their children commute from the city and so do the elders.
The Askaris might be living in the city outskirts, but their life hasn’t changed all that much. “It has changed for the good,” shares Mujtaba. “The quality of life has become better and like everyone else we commute for about 30 minutes from Mehdipatnam to reach home. We take less time to reach home in Murtuzaguda then we did when we lived in Banjara Hills,” says Mujtaba.
Mujtaba, besides being proud of his decision to move away from the city, is also a huge advocate of adopting a less complicated and healthy life. This means the family members produce their own vegetables, rear the hens for meat and eggs and get milk from a cow from their backyard. In their backyard, away from the hens, ducks and cows is a bed of turmeric being sun dried. “We even make our own turmeric powder. This is harvested in our small vegetable garden,” says Mujtaba
His wife Afshan adds, “He distributes turmeric like gold to everyone who visits us and is also taking consuming turmeric to a new level.”
Turmeric, vegetables and fresh produce are just one part of what the family is enjoying apart from the clear skies at night and fresh air throughout the day. “We were quite determined to bake our own breads and minimise the consumption of processed food to a large extent. Limited accessibility to super markets on daily basis from the village also prompted us to have our own indigenous source of breads – today my wife has mastered baking – organic whole wheat bread, bagels, croissants, waffles, English muffins etc,” he says, leading us to on open dining area.
The table is laid out with all that Mujtaba has mentioned and more. “Baking breads and wholesome food like lasagne, baked spinach and vegetables is a way of expressing our love and bonding with the family. The breads that are baked during the weekend, are packed and sent across to the other members of the family, that stay within the compound and also a weekly common breakfast or brunch is arranged to relish the freshly baked bread. The idea of baking is not to sell but our aim is to help the young generation learn and start baking food at home for their families,” says Afshan.