Moghra, also known as Motiya and Jasmine, has a special significance to my family and me.
After the 1918 Spanish flu, my Grandmother lost her entire family, abandoned the land, and walked to her brother’s home about 15 miles with her two kids; my father, a toddler, and my aunt. The bus came once a week, and it was dangerous to stay in the flu-infected community, so she left..
She did not want any help from her brother except a place to stay. She was a proud woman with dignity. She decided to sew flower garlands together and sell them at the bus stop. Apparently, she rode on the horse to bus stops. It’s common for South Indian women to wear the flower garlands tie to their hair; even now, it’s a tradition in South India. That flower was Jasmine.
She raised her two kids with her little business. Later on, she moved to Yelahanka, a suburb of Bangalore. She did not go to school but had a great brain raising my father. He just went to Middle school and went on to become the councilman and Mayor of the town. He was the only Mayor who did not get home sites allotted to himself.
My Grandma was a proud independent woman, ahead of her time. She remained single all her life and passed away at 98. I have a lot of affectionate moments with her that I cherish.
My father decided to go back and re-cultivate that abandoned land after nearly 50 years, and what did he do? He reserved half an acre for cultivating Mogra- the Jasmine flower!
I was on the farm for about three months to be a farmer. And what did I do? I named my daughter Jasmina.
I was a short-term small farmer. I have a lot of respect for farmers and stand with them in their protest against the draconian imposition of rules by sadistic authoritarian men in a democracy, downgraded to a half-ass democracy by several international bodies. India will not be a reliable ally of the United States as long as Modi keeps destroying. He is selling the nation to his buddies at a dirt price. In 6 years, they have become mega billionaires from just billionaires. This has to stop, and it has to change, and the change is coming to save India from being robbed by Modi and his gang.