HariKumar M Nair, an Audio Engineer who is a farmer

Saturday, September 08, 2012

HariKumar M Nair, two time National Award winner for audiography is an unlikely farmer. This engineer and FTII graduate farms because he feels strongly that he and his family should eat pesticide free food. This is not land his family owns for generations so he could one day wake up and decide that he will start farming there. This is land that he bought on loans, I say this because I find it rare and precious that someone takes pains and puts down hard earned money into things they feel strongly about. In times when everyone is speaking of organic food and people who are conscious and aware are trying to make compost in their city back yards and growing herbs in their window pots, this is a story that is very relevant. He lives in Trivandrum which is the capital of Kerala and his farm is on the outskirts of the city. So when he is not on a shoot, on the dot of six every morning Hari heads out to his farms and works himself on the field. That Trivandrum and Kerala have a labour availability problem does not deter this man.
Speaking to Hari is like seeing a movie on farming and earth. I say a movie because it is so much more than information that you get when you spend time with him. That one must grow different types of grain and produce rotationally on a patch of land so that the land doesn't get stripped of the same minerals again and again and that tractors actually kill earthworms which is what makes soil breathe are just some of the few interesting things I learnt when I spoke to him. He spoke of the book "One Straw Revolution" which is a seminal book on natural farming by Japanese Masanobu Fukuwaka and how much it had influenced him in farming the way he does.

"This is my way of protesting against the large-scale filling of the paddy fields and the general perception that paddy cultivation is impossible in Kerala,’’ said Harikumar, who has been recording sound for many German, French and Canadian films." Quoted from this article on HariKumar.

I walked around delighted at the visual treats awaiting me at every turn.

Harikumar believes in natural farming or zero budget farming. So everything is manual and natural. And no artificial fertilizers for him. The straw left in his field becomes manure for his next crop. 

It feels strange referring to him through this post as Hari and HariKumar when I actually only relate to him as 'Chetta' (malayalam for elder brother) He is my sister's husband and the fact that I get to see 1st hand a person who is so integrated with his beliefs and completely lives by them is something i count as one of life's privileges I have done nothing to earn.

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