Bucket list, (subheading) Tours, #1: Reality Tours and Travel — 1 Day Village Tour. Cross.

It’s my last three and an half months in Mumbai. I’m counting my last days, and pushing myself to explore, travel, photograph and write. Yesterday, I took the Chinchonea one-day village tour with Krishna, Assam, Christine and Matthew. This coincided with the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge, where the assignment is to share photos that mean down to us.

Special thanks to Krishna, our faithful guide who was very knowledgeable about Chinchoea because he has a close relationship with the community and is giving back to them. Krishna is also part owner of Reality Tours and Travels, which I highly recommend for travelers who want to get to know Mumbai and its outskirts.

Without further ado, this is my journey to Chinchoea from the down perspective.

Caught the 6:28 train from Goregaon East to Churchgate. My ratty Mizunos are still red from the Matheran soil.

Heading out of the Churchgate station.

Quick bathroom stop at the Taj Mahal Hotel. There are only squat loos in the village.

Waiting for Assam by the Gateway of India ferry ticket stalls.

Boarded the ferry.

Visited a public high school where many villagers send their children.

The rickshaw dropped us by the Chinchoea faucet, which the community relies on for water.

A lady fed us lunch in her home. It's an Indian custom to leave your shoes outside before entering a home.

Lunch was served on the floor made out of soil and dung.

The villagers sundry rice. Then they grind it into powder to make rice roti, which is called "bakri".

Papad, an Indian appetizer made from ground lentils, is being dried under the sun.

Chinchoea means "tamarind" in the villagers' native language. Tamarind trees abloom proliferate the land.

We walked through rice paddies. It's now the dry season in Maharashtra. The paddies will be water-filled again during the monsoon season, which starts in June.

Many of the rice fields are strategically burnt. The villagers believe that ash acts an organic fertilizer which can be mixed with the soil. Afterwards, other crops can be grown in the field.

View from the Chinchoea fields.

Krishna and Kulpi catch fish from a mini-pond.

Brickmakers from the Adivasi tribal community, travel down from their community to Chinchoea. They mold bricks from mud and water under the unforgiving rays of the sun.

We took a rickshaw up the hill to visit the Adivasi tribal community. We weren't sure if they would welcome us or not. But we walked around the village, smiled and tried to initiate play with the children. These are cashew nuts, a staple in their diet.

The children of the Adivasi tribal community.

This was a powerful trip for me. I’m struggling for time and energy, but I sincerely want to write a travel piece about this experience. For now, let it suffice to say that this trip has given me perspective. I have no right to complain about my petty little issues. I have everything I need and more.

Gratitude, forgiveness and peace is a choice I will make everyday.

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