- Written by Aishwarya Phadke
I first read about the Two Brothers Organic Farms in early 2019. There was an article about them in The Better India and I remember feeling excited, inspired, and proud all at once reading it. At the time, I would always be on the lookout for new locations and experiences for Travel Dirty, and the farm seemed like the perfect place. There was a number listed at the end of the article and I dialed it fully expecting a PA of some sort to answer the phone. When Satyajit introduced himself, I had a mini fan moment of disbelief.
“How humble!” I thought to myself. They just gave out their contact like that? I imagined their phone buzzing 24/7. Satyajit was extremely friendly (as I now know he always is) and heard about Travel Dirty patiently. He asked me to visit the farm when I could and in less than a week, I found myself driving to Bhodani, a small village I didn’t know existed till then.
My friend and I were greeted warmly, and Satyajit took us on a farm tour. Even when his audience that day wasn’t farmers, the amount of sincerity and know-how he poured into that tour was massive. We heard and tried to remember what we could. By then, I was sure that I wanted to take a group there for a visit, and really experience the farm life.
My ask was simple: “Let me bring a group of city people to the farm for a weekend. We’ll work on the farm, cook, camp outside in tents, and get our hands dirty in every way possible.” Satyajit agreed and in less than a month I showed up at the farm again, this time with a group of enthusiastic travelers.
We started with the customary farm and cow shed tour which was even more insightful than my first visit (or maybe I was just understanding more now. :) )
We came back to the Wada for a beautiful traditional lunch and spent the afternoon sitting under the tamarind tree laughing and chatting. The pace of the village seemed to be taking over, as we all slowed down and relaxed.
On every Travel Dirty trip, I ask the hosts how the locals live and curate activities that will make us city folk feel most immersed while doing. Leveling courtyards with cow-dung is a given in any village and I wanted the group to try it out. That evening, we got our hands dirty in the real sense. An hour or two of us and the kids in the house along with Satyajit mixing cow-dung in water to form a slurry, and then taking sections of the yard to make it fresh and even.
Some of the participants had never touched dung, so the hesitation and the laughter that ensued was joyful. We felt as if we’d gone back to a different time in life, a simpler time where our needs and worries both were scarce.
Satyajit had told me about the Dhangar (shepherd) community and how they cooked their meals on a makeshift chul (earthen stove) on the farm. I knew the group would enjoy that experience. Sheetal (Satyajit’s wife) packed all the ingredients efficiently and took charge. We got on the vehicle and drove off into the night. The stars were now getting brighter and we couldn’t wait to start this exciting adventure. The dhangars are great friends with darkness, but we could hardly spot them on the farm. We made a fire and started helping with some chopping and cooking. The starry-eyed city folk could be found chatting with the Dhangar couple, watching the sheep graze lazily or laying down looking at the night sky. Satyajit explained to us the dhangar way of life and we were spellbound.
What a night it was! What an authentic dinner! We felt contentment and gratitude beyond measure. We came back and slept off in our tents with smiles on our faces. Yoga on the neighbouring farm, harvesting drumsticks, and chilling with the gir cows was how we spent our next day.
That was 2019 and over the course of the next two years, I’ve had the privilege of building a great friendship with not just Satyajit, but with the entire family. Bhodani is now a home away from home and I look forward to every visit. The last time I was there, we went for a swim in the village well, and I don’t know what joy the next visit will bring.
That one visit led to us (finally) starting regular visits to the Two Brothers farm, so that more and more of you who have been using their products, planning on starting farming, or are curious about where good food comes from can come visit! I am delighted to be part of the team now and I learn truckloads from the two brothers- about work, integrity, and purposeful living.
We hope to see you at the farm, soon!