“God made the country and man made the Town.”(Cowper)
An English writer says:
“There are two voices that move us. One of the land and the other of the sea. We love the sea after the lion”(the emblem)
Likewise, we can say that we hear two voices of the country (village) and the town. In-country everything is natural and simple; in towns, everything is artificial and showy.
Pakistan is an agricultural country, and agriculture is the prime industry. The progress and prosperity of the country depend on agricultural and rural development. There are about 75,000 villages in the country, and 70% of our population resides in villages. In fact, the agriculturists feed both our populations and our industries in form of raw materials.
Villages are like our arsenals, but they are mostly neglected and isolated. The citizens and urbanites know little about a lot of the villagers or the rustics who live in villages distant and far remote from the ‘madding crowd’. The village senreo changes from province to province, from the plains of Sindh and Punjab to the uplands of Baluchistan & Frontier, and the high land of the Northern areas. The complexion changes but the substance are the same. Only those who enjoy both the city life and the countryside, know what a typical Pakistani village is like.
The sun-baked villages of Sindh, the sheltered and cloister covered villages of Punjab, the terraced villages of Highland, all present a typical scene. A cluster of hutments or cottages with narrow lanes generally make the typical village. There are no roads, no sanitation, and no drainage facilities. The earth. built and thatched cottages defy the heat, rains and the rough weathers. Modern, facilities like electricity, transport, clean drinking water and means of entertainments are denied or unknown to them.
The villagers live in close communism with nature. They are hard working, sturdy and illiterate. There are no schools, hospitals, and bazars some even do not have mosques. They are simple, easy-going and contented. For them ignorance is a bliss, as they do not know rules of health and hygiene.
The village life is generally calm, quiet and monotonous. The villagers rise with the lark and lie down with the lamb. Simple live-stock- a few cows, goats and buffaloes are their whole wealth. The animals are seen grazing in the fields and pastures. The menfolk are seen plowing or working in the fields with their tanned and sun-scorched faces, and the women render the helping hand or are seen carrying water pitchers on their heads. The necked or half-clad, children with their bright faces are seen playing under the trees or tending the animals. The hurry and worry of modern life are unknown to the rustics. They earn their bread with the sweat of their brows.
The evening is the season of rest. The rustics bend their tired limbs towards the village, and the animals are seen running. for home. The village alderman or Chaudhry is seen sitting on a cot and the men huddled round him smoking the hukka (hubble bubble) or earthen pipe (chilam). The dusk falls and the night soon shrouds the village. The monotony is broken by casual folk-dances and songs or some marriage party.
The villagers eat their grub and soon retire for rest, for sleep. Darkness folds its wings and the rest is silence. Only a dog bark or complaint of the grumbling owl breaks the silence. The peasants are poor but honest and hardworking. They are the pride of the nation.