The true essence of life lies in pursuing your dreams and doing what you love. Many people migrate from villages to urban areas these days in search of better work opportunities. But many of them fail to understand that it is not just the big cities and better lifestyle that lead to success, but hard work and determination.
Here is a couple who did just the opposite. They left their cushy job and urban life and migrated to a village in Mysore to do something different. Vivek Cariappa and Juli Cariappa, popular as the Cariappa couple, started farming from zero, becoming full-time organic farmers.
They have redefined sustainable living by hosting tours for enthusiastic farmers to teach the farming techniques.
Vivek was studying economics and Juli was pursuing sociology. That was when they met each other, three decades ago. They became friends and decided to spend their lives together, far away, from the rush of city life, in a peaceful place. After graduating, they both got well-paying jobs in a garment export company in the national capital. But dissatisfied from their life, they decided to chase their passion.
In the year 1985, they just had one thing in their mind, buy land, have their own produce, and live a sustainable lifestyle. They bought 13 acres of land in the village called Halansur and decided to start their life from zero.
Initially, the couple had to face a lot of struggle. There was transportation problems, as only three buses headed towards the village. Their closest neighborhood was three kilometers away and they didn’t have telephone and electric lines in their home for initial two years. But they did not give up on their dreams.
Reaping the fruits of joy
After every night, there is a dawn. There was a day when Vivek and Juli left their life behind with nothing in their hands, and today, their farm Karc-a-Dawna is famous amongst everyone. Karc-a-Dawna is spread across 40 acres and produces everything from grains, oilseeds, food crops, fibre, spices, cotton, and paddy, to millets, sugarcane, and veggies. They even cook their food from biogas.
However, they aren’t alone in this journey. They have made a happy family with their two sons named Azad and Kabir, and a daughter named Sukanya. They all contribute to farming and sustainable living.
“Approach the earth with humility and accept that you don’t know much but the nature is there to teach you. If you open your mind, its endless what you can learn,” says Juli. She believes that it is important for the society to understand that farmers are not illiterate even if they don’t know how to read and write and the people who grow your food have immense wisdom and knowledge therefore you need to respect and honour that.
Self learning approach is the best way to learn anything. Juli, over the decades has learnt everything she can about homeopathy, which is useful for both their family and their domesticated animals. They have cats, dogs, sheeps, cows, goats, and chickens.
Their crops are exported to Wildlife Resort Orange County and the cotton produce goes to Just Clean Cotton, a UK-based website which manufactures organic products. They’ve been awarded the Krishi Pandit Award given by the Department of Agriculture to individuals for best farming practices.
“Slow down, take it easy, and enjoy life because life is all about learning, a few successes, and lots of failure.” says Vivek.
Life is not only an ocean of opportunities but also a blank canvas on which you have to paint your incredible and most colorful tale. Love for material things is temporary but the love for internal peace is eternal. Vivek and Juli are not just the only people reaping the fruits of their hard work but they are also helping many farmers and other farming enthusiasts by teaching their techniques.
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