Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, November 24
As the coronavirus has started affecting lives, many people are looking for ways to regale themselves while keeping safe at the same time.
In his pursuit to keep himself fit and engaged, Retd Indian Air Force pilot Air Vice Marshal Sarvjit Hothi has set up a farmhouse, almost 15 km away from the city, where he spends his day, rides his tractor, takes a stroll and tend to his hens. Hothi, who resides at Ranjit Nagar here, has established his farm on 1.75 acre land at Ballan village on the Pathankot road.
Completely fenced from all sides and gated, he says he finds it a safe and secure place, where he can spend his entire day with his wife, Pearl. “We both come here in the morning, spend time doing landscaping and look after our fruit trees and vegetables. We enjoy basking in the winter sun. By evening, we push off and go back home,” he said, adding that he had been practising this since the past three months or so and has managed to have plush green lawns and fresh vegetables to harvest daily.
Having flown MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft for the defence forces for most of his life, Hothi says it was time to engage in some agricultural work. “It is perhaps because of the ‘Jatt’ factor in me that I am passionately enjoying my tractor rides. I have grown hundreds of fruit trees, including several varieties of mangoes, oranges, lemons, chikoos, guavas, bananas and litchis at my farm. From carrots to radish, cauliflowers, broccoli, chillies, turnips, tomatoes, lettuce and salad leaves, I have grown all vegetables, of course with the help of my gardeners,” he said.
Hothi has also begun raising hens. “I just love their sound and the way they run around in the farm. They have started laying eggs. Next, I intend to keep bees and get fresh honey extracted from them.”
His wife Pearl, who has set up a one-bedroom with drawing room and open kitchen apartment at the farm, says: “I enjoyed designing and setting up this small house away from the one in the city. We have not put any curtains, as I want to enjoy the natural light. Having made the kitchen workable, she said she even enjoys cooking her own lunch at the new house.”
The couple adds: “Since both our children (a son and daughter) are settled abroad, we did not have much to do here. Our kids would often tell us not to go out because of the coronavirus scare. We also did not have any guest for a long time and there could be no party. One day, both of us decided to kill this boredom and hence, we began working and planning this farmhouse which has added all that freshness in our lives.”
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