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Respects to Mr. VL Roche

As a little boy I was taking my milking cow for the morning graze along our neighborhood paddy field bunds.   I saw a man wearing long pants walking towards me, and the cow was between us.   My cow had never seen such long pants before, so it got scared, and it chased him along the bund fiercely.  This man jumped/fell in the paddy field, his socks, shoes, and pants got wet and dirty.  Of course, I laughed! He yelled at me, "Hei thun thambdo chedo?"  I was wearing my favorite red loin cloth, known as kasti.   I guess, he said, I should have restrained the cow, whereas, I told him that his pants scared my cow, my bread winning cow, therefore a holy cow. That evening, the cow actually yielded more milk!


I told my mother about this, and I asked her who this man was.  "Tho Kudrai voila gresth 'nallya gharchya'  Inas Rochacho pooth tho" she said. Their enormous house had tiled roof.  I said "Oh yea, that house who never replace their roof at all, whereas we put new roof every year, and yet we are not gresth!” I retorted.


Oh, well, after some years, I had the unique opportunity to see his Kulshekar tunnel building work site.  I saw a lot people from Barkur, Kundapoor, working  as draftsmen, drivers, machinists, accountants, engineers, foremen, etc. etc…  He (like the biblical Moses) lead quite a few Barkurians to fertile jobs, contract/sub contract works, etc.  Believe me, some of  them became quite rich, if not, at least found some livelihood.  "Thank you, Vallyaba, thank you, ani dee maka thujen ani Devachen besaun."


Now that you are the TATA or Rockerfeller of Barkur, can you help the Kudru people you left behind, to obtain some fresh tap water? You are the pillar of this community, you have contacts, and you know how to get things done, and you have the leadership to lead us. Most of the people from Kudru, who are settled elsewhere feel that they or their children don't live here, hence, their attachment seems dwindling, (except for their childhood memories), besides, they have their own present priorities.  Well, sir, if you solicit, some generous Kudru or non-Kudru people may help, with or without any  photo-opportunity, perhaps.  All we need is some fresh water.  Apparently, there are ways to get financial aid from the government, however, we need your guidance.  Thank you.

 You still do not know who that boy was, do you?

 Name withheld by request.

Barkur, located in Udupi Taluk, Karnataka, India. 576 210

Copyright Kishoo, Barkur 2002.