Camping at Sids Farm - Weekend outing from Hyderabad
Run a simple google search on the word “Escape” and you would most likely end up with a result that connotes “to slip or get away, as from confinement or restraint; gain or regain liberty”. Yet to many corporate city dwellers like me the word holds superlative value beyond the wisdom of a dictionary. It is a way for us to express the unsaid and live the uninhabited. A getaway that lets us explore the uncharted ourselves, to unwind and rejuvenate. Most often than not, this escape is not necessarily a far flung dream. Rather it could be something rudimentary right in your backyard awaiting its discovery.
I found my backyard treasure when we planned a day’s outing at Sid’s Farm. Just 50 kms from Hyderabad, a fun filled evening, delicious food and deep discussions made Sids Farm a perfect escape within an arm’s reach. Though a farm does not sound like a place to escape, wait to read the complete travelogue and then decide for yourself.
Weekend outing options from Hyderabad
Nestled near the Chevella village, the journey from Hyderabad to Sids Farm itself was memorable. Taking Chevella road from Himayat sagar, the roads seemed to be better than most of Hyderabad, both in terms of traffic and potholes. Before Chevella, turning left to Shadnagar – Chevella road brought us on a wonderful patch of road with endless fields on both sides. You then turn right towards a narrow street and might require personal directions to reach the farm as the path is not properly available on google maps when we publish this.
Upon reaching the farm around 5 PM on saturday evening, we were received by our host Shivam. In his twenties, Shivam answered his call and left his illustrious overseas career to work towards his ideology of sustainable future. Currently he overlooks the operations of the farm and double hats during the weekends welcoming guests with a smile. We also met Kishore who is the owner of the farm. Shivam showed us around the farm and we were divided into teams who would be taking up different tasks from fetching wood sticks and lighting up the charcoal fire to pitching tents, chopping veggies and skewing the barbeque. In the meanwhile along with evening high tea we were demonstrated how to pitch tents and the associated tips and tricks.
We had biscuits and tea as everyone gathered again taking a break from their assigned activities. This whole idea of community living is new to us Indians who generally prefer comforts of a bed and room service if they happen to take a break on weekends and go out visiting some place. But here we were in an isolated farm learning and carrying out basic chores on a weekend which is usually spent in malls, movies or restaurants. It felt good, it felt different. And there was a unique joy that I sensed when everyone did their bits for the common purpose of cooking delicious food and having a good time. The kids especially were having fun seeing ducks and cows. The cycle, tractor and football added more fun to the evening.
As the orange hues in the sky marked the advent of dusk, we all took a moment off from our assigned chores to appreciate the sublime environs of the isolated farm. Silence that is often subdued in the cacophony of the bustling metropolis was in abundance, only to be perturbed by chirping of the birds returning back to their nests. The darkness brought intermittent showers which played a borderline spoilsport. Hats off to the gutsy spirit of all who relentlessly kept up the barbeque and cooking hopping between the indoor kitchen and the outdoor charcoal pit. A rigorous effort to light up the damp wood sticks camp fire followed the dinner. It took considerable splashes of kerosene to beat the monsoons and then there was no stopping the blazing fire. Everyone was content with the efforts of the evening as they had a fulfilling dinner.
Time always takes a back seat when you are engrossed in sharing life experiences, and we were no different to this. We engaged in interesting conversations through the night with Shivam and Kishore. We were so curious to know their past and what brought them here to this farm. Kishore, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus and PHD from University of Massachusetts worked for 6 years at Intel corp before realizing how difficult it was to get healthy, pesticide & chemical free food. He wanted his children (The farm is named after his son - Sid) to always get healthy and natural food. This desire made him leave his lucrative corporate job and move back to India to set up farms which fulfilled this need. They explained us how they feed natural grass to their cows and do not inject any hormones to boost milk production. They do not add any preservatives to their milk. They provide this natural milk to various parts of Hyderabad everyday.
We enjoyed experimenting with night photography as the night grew darker. Being away from the city the skies are pretty clear and thus gives many opportunities to click the night sky. However as it rained, most of the sky was cloudy and we could not do astrophotography, so we settled for the next best thing. Long exposure shots of objects around us. We retired into our tents with satisfaction in our minds and tranquility in our souls. Surprisingly we couldn't find a single mosquito though we were quite prepared to handle them. The following morning we planted trees, helped in few of the farm chores and played football and frisbee. A quick bite of breakfast again made by us was followed by group photos and it was time to say goodbye but with an urge to come back again. We not only had a unique experience of spending a night in a farm and community living, we left being inspired by Shivam & Kishore. Their vision, risk taking appetite, boundless energy and humble nature inspired us to think beyond our routine day to day lives. By all means this weekend was an escape in its true sense.
We would like to thank Sids Farm for hosting us. You can visit their website here or like their facebook page here to know more about them. You can contact Shivam here - +91 9030 184 960 or firstname.lastname@example.org. They often host their events here where you can register if interested in participating (apply relevant filters of Hyderabad & Activity).
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Have you experienced such farm and community living? Would you like to try it out? How did you find our blog? Let us know in comments section below.