Vasant Mama has been with TBOF since the time we started, puts his heart and soul in the work he does, he has a command over the team and has excellent people skills, he comes early every morning on his quintessential Hercules Bicycle and is there till the sun starts going down, he is 65 years young and has some tremendous energy.
Nagesh Mama is a silent co-worker, handles the shetfal farms since beginning organic farming, he is fit as a fiddle, a hard worker and has successfully unlearnt his previous general farming knowhow and picked up organic farming practices with a gusto, Nowadays days even takes visitors for a-round of the farm all by himself and will go into scientific details of farming within a click of a finger, he is highly educated but literacy wise he has barely completed his 4th standard, he has the wisdom that one can learn a lot from.
Pandu Mama or as kids in the house call him Panda Mama, just completed his 70th birthday, if there is another word for Trust and Loyalty it is Pandu Mama, he is a loving fellow, comes to the village house early every morning, oversees all the processing procedures and gently administers all the co-workers, many a times you will catch him reading all the newspapers sitting crossed legged under a tree or in the Dehlaj (Hall) of the traditional wada.
Gena whose name literally means Knowledge is named after the famous self realised saint of Maharshtra Sant Dnyaneshwar, he is a reliable peron and single handedly takes care of the milk from the cow shed to boiling it over firewood, he has the courage to face and turn against tides and follow his principles, when he is riding his motorbike with the milk minivan hooked behind everyone on the road automatically move aside as you can hear him shout "No Brakes No horn".
Sunil started off working for the farm as a construction worker, but over a period of time he found it more convenient to work full time, he now handles all the packaging and coordination with shops, he's even learnt accounting, not having completed school these feats are commendable from his side, he learns very quickly and is constantly suggesting procedures to improve practices, he takes all the pressure whenever it builds up and sets a benchmark for being responsible. His latest is we need to have a state of the art packaging facility and sometimes when he is high on energy he says "ill build it all by myself", Woah.
Raghu is an Indian cowboy, actually even before this term of cow boy was invented his forefathers for over 10 generations have been taking care and staying with cows, he along with his wife and eldest son Govind take utmost care of the cows on the shed and every day will not have their meals until the cows have had their fodder, for them this is a religion and cows are God, our cows could not have been more fortunate to have the love and care of Raghu Maharaj and his family, He is one strong, hardworking man.
Mauli is our sarathy (driver), he is an energetic, never say die attitude man and can often be heard even outside Dmonte park when he come to the farmers markets, he speaks so loud that even his whisper can be heard by a full classroom, ever smiling and lively mauli is often our companion when we are driving to the markets to mumbai and back, he was a truck driver previously and has so many interesting travel tales that often we don't require any radio in our farm truck.
Raju Bhai drives a 50 HP, 4 cylinder Tractor, the tractor is basically an extension of himself and he can manuveour it like a bike on 2 wheels, we often take his tractor for any heavy work, but he is a member daily on the farms and at the farm house, he is soft-spoken and very clever and intelligent, none should miss an invitation when he arranges dinners at his house - just lip smacking.
Suvarna wakes up before the morning rooster crowing, and directly heads to the processing centre, takes the curds and starts the churning of the same, to produce white butter which gets melted every day to form Ghee over firewood, her happy attitude is easily noticeable and contagious too, she is a strong woman and enjoys her work.
Manga Bai competes with Suvarna to reach early in the morning at 4am to start the curd churning process, one day she forgot to see her watch and landed at 2 am getting Suvarna along, after 4 hrs she realised the sun had not risen and there was something wrong before realising her folly, she can crack a joke at anyone and many a times ends up being the but of many jokes, she ensures silence when there is commotion, and commotion when there is silence.
Swati stays not even a stones throw away from our farm house where we process our farm produce, her happy family is just a shout away and comes hop skip jumping to work every day, often you can see her run to her house when her children call her and for other menial things and then back she is contributing to every little work that her hands can do, she can be heard singing songs all to herself sometimes,
Nani is close to 68 yers old, both her sons have secured employments and her younger son has taken a car and a house in the city too, but she loves working and says she gets bored if her hands have no work, so there she is every morning at the processing house doing her bit, she prefers working to retirement, and this has kept her hale and hearty.
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