I was getting saturated with churches , UNESCO heritage sites after 6 days in Tbilisi and wanted something different.That was when Teolina suggested a visit to her village and we did not have to think twice.So we set out on a 5 hour long trip through winding roads with snow clad hills and valleys to Norio village in Abasaha district ..This village is sparsely populated and farming is their main occupation.Maize is the main crop.
We reached by evening and were warmly welcomed by he parents and grandmother.They have a 2 storey house and a fairly large plot .Teolina’s mother is Erma and I was surprised to see her watching a Hindi serial dubbed in their language.It seems Hindi serials are quite popular out there.Tina is her 94 yr old grandmother and she is a charming sprightly lady.I did not see her sitting down even for a moment.It was obvious that Teolina dotes on her parents and granny.She visits them once or twice a month.Erma is fond of old hindi movies and she sang two lines of that all time popular song ”Mera jhootha hei japani”.It was getting very cold and Teo’s father took me to stay near the quaint old bukhari.It was very cosy and I did not want to leave that spot.
Georgians are known for their hospitality and warmth and we felt a part of this wonderful family in no time.
We were treated to a sumptuous dinner which was like a mini Supra ((traditional georgian feast) for me.It had georgian specialities like Gomi-maize porridge which is to be eaten with cheese,Khachapuri-cheese filled bread and corn fritters.All were home made and delicious.
I got up by 6 and saw that Granny Tina was already up and having her tea. .I went down with her and she showed me around.It was like a scene from my village.There is a sprawling plot with a cowshed ,chicken coop and corn fields .She let the hens out ,took hay for the cows, went over to her neighbour to get a bottle of honey for us and made sure that we had breakfast.She has stayed in the same village for most of her life and is content and happy.Teo told me that though she looks frail she has a robust constitution.It must be the genes,active village life and a healthy diet.She is also deeply religious.
I saw a persimmon tree for the first time and seeing my excitement granny made me taste some fresh persimmon and they were delicious.She also packed some to take back home.She also wanted me to carry some pumpkins but that I had to decline.
This idyllic village stay was a fitting finale and soon it was time to say goodbye.
Thank you Granny Tina,Mama Erma,Dad, Teolina,George and Eraqali for giving us such unforgettable moments.Tbilisi was a revelation and I can’t wait to get back for the summer surprises.