Pushing Boundaries

Yesterday (Rogue) Annamalai and co. were building the kallukattu (stone wall) separating our land from his. I have been aware that they have been pushing their boundary outwards into our land for a while now,  and this was an attempt to stop the attrition.

Our case was being made by a solitary bamboo plant without which I would not have been able to argue my case. As it transpired, Annamalai tried to will it out of existence: the kallukattu would veer drunkenly, I would holler and it would straighten out for  awhile. Eventually all I was able to achieve was the entombing of the bamboo in the kallukattu. And I was really worn out by the end of it.


The trouble is that these people are masters in the art of pushing boundaries (I think they start as infants rolling pebbles into the neighbour’s field) and fighting with their neighbours. So much so, that if we start ranting and fighting, the battle is lost before it is begun. When one is polite (and once in a while invokes the Gods as witness), their guns are spiked. To find the balance between being overwhelmed and exploited by them, and getting angry and being rude is no easy task.

Land issues are always a bit fuzzy. For instance on our top tier towards the west, our patta shows 30 cents as belonging to us which the villagers said had  always been “run” by their forefathers (and four generations of that family were present on that occasion: Rogue Annamalai, his father, his grandfather and his son). I had acquiesced to this 11 years ago, but now, seeing how boundary-pushing is a fine art here, the four generations could have done the boundary-pushing overnight!

The VAO’s office is corrupt and is willing to adjudicate in favour of the highest bidder. So the people become corrupt as well. If you don’t indulge in boundary-pushing, then your neghbour will take advantage of your “cissy-ness” and push his boundary. A battle between brothers is the norm when the father “retires” and the land is partitioned. There is always ranting and raving, and sometimes physical violence, even bloodshed. When the ambience is like this it becomes all the more necessary for us not to “join in this game”.

But the boundaries of our being are sometimes pushed to snapping point. And one has to indulge in the catharsis of blogging it out of our system 🙂

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6 Responses to “Pushing Boundaries”

  1. sunder and sonati Says:

    Sunny Naradmuni said this and I “copy-and-pasted’ from Facebook:
    There is a belief in North India that you are not a true Jat if you don’t go to jail over a fight over a “maind” , a raised border of mud that divides lands and usually has a small canal running next to it ! Sunder bhai I learnt a long time ago that if you agree to do with less and peace then you will not be left with any land at all ! The world pushes you into a square 1 inch by 1 inch and says “show me how you will live in that” . The Mahabharta shows this clearly when the Kauravas refuse to give not five villages in return for peace , but say that not land even that fits on top of a needle !Another North Indian saying is that Land , Gold and Women is the basis of all war “Zar,Zooru,Zameen” and I don’t see any so-called “evolution” of man away from that dystopian truth.

  2. sunder and sonati Says:

    Huzefa Mehta said this and I “copy-and-pasted” from Facebook:
    Well written. Since records are fuzzy – Do present day techniques to photograph or catalogue make it easier?

  3. sunder and sonati Says:

    @Sunny: “Maind” in Tamil is “Verapu”; and Verapu fights lead to jail here also. And I can translate your “Zar, Zooru, Zameen” into “Ponnu, Pounu, Patta” in Tamil.

    @Hoju: The present day techniques you mention are absent 🙂 Well, at the moment anyway. And moreover, the problems arise because all parties claim that the records are falsified; so presumably the claim can be made for falsification of photos, GPS recordings, whatever

  4. sunder and sonati Says:

    Sunny says:
    Sunny Naradmuni: Of the more than 30 million cases pending in courts in India, probably 2/3 are land related ! Police,Lawyers ,Politicians, Bureaucrats, Mafia make money out of it . So no one is interested in solutions.

  5. Thekambattu thoddara kadhai | Thekambattu Says:

    […] This story begins with a view; well it begins with climbing up; slipping, sliding, scratched to the view; but one has to start somewhere: It sounds ridiculous (or does it?) that both Sonati and I would decide to buy this land because of the view; but that decided it. And perhaps that ensured that the land was bought, for otherwise, given the difficulties with water, the barrenness, the rockiness, no-one may have bought this piece of land. And since we did, the land has now become green, and treed-up. Various birds have moved in which we never saw here earlier. And Varun, too moved in! Various neighbours steal various things: Jackfruit, Guavas (though of late we have had a relentless stream of kids who actually come and ask for Guavas), Firewood, Timber wood, the land itself by pushing boundaries. […]

  6. Our Small Corner of the Universe – Fundamatics Says:

    […] Various neighbours steal various things: Jackfruit, Guavas (though of late we have had a relentless stream of kids who actually come and ask for Guavas. The squirrels don’t ask), Firewood, Timber wood, the land itself by pushing boundaries. […]

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