It is not easy being a farmer in this scorching heat. So farmers in Tom's Abdaly farm, where he is the head farmer, would go home for a vacation and come back late November when soil is prepared for the next cultivation. But Tom Thomas, 42, is not going home to India where he has a family. He told his sponsor that he could do a little bit of carpentry work, and that, he does not need long holidays. The sponsor happily agreed and now their farm has a workshop of wooden work, with the busy Tom making furniture of all kinds.
The date palm tree farm, Tom and three co-workers cultivate maze, onion, garlic, beetroot, brinjal (eggplant), lady's fingers, carrot and sunflower. They have made thatched huts out of palm leaves to store onions and garlic. A bit of engineering is present too. Next month, the farmer in Tom will have to remain fully awake: A little less than half a hectare of land has to be ploughed before the soil is mixed with cow dung and water, ready to sow maze seeds. Maze is mostly cultivated during the months of December-January. Most vegetables are farmed in winter, only onion is cultivated till early June, Tom explains.
But seasons do not limit Tom who is busy throughout the year. Apart from assuming different roles as a watchman, storekeeper and cook for four people, the farmer-carpenter takes care of doves and the three dogs that live on the farm. Plus, he has an off-the- track fascination too: presenting witty tricks on stage. He produces flowers from an empty bag or turns a long piece of cloth into a sturdy stick. These are stage items that Tom is famous for.
Of all the skills, Tom is mostly sought after by his 'farm-mates' for one skill - to kill poisonous snakes and scorpions on the farm. Here, Tom's magic wand turns into a tragic weapon for uninvited guests.
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