Lots of space – vast, expansive space where its OK to run wild, free, and unleashed; fresh air to breathe; green groves and fields to explore; no annoying voices barking orders; and the freedom to piss and poop anywhere outside, at will! 🙂 🙂 This is exactly how my pet golden retriever, Vaibhav, must have felt when we had taken him for the very first time to Vaksana farms! 🙂 🙂 Because, as soon as he set feet in this 13-acre, family-run, lush, green farmland, he morphed into this unstoppable force! He was running all over the place! For a city-bred, apartment-bound, high-on-energy pet like Vaibhav, who has only seen narrow, traffic-ridden, dirty roads up until then, a place like Vaksana is truly a boon. His excitement therefore was natural, and of course, infectious too!
As pet parents, finding a pet-friendly vacation destination in and around Chennai has always been our challenge. The lack of pet-friendly spots has often forced us to reluctantly go on vacations without our pets. We knew that all that is about to change, when we saw how welcoming Vaksana and its owners were of pets, and how happy Vaibhav was in the farm. The fact that Vaksana is home to a whole pack of its own pet dogs was a real bonus for Vaibhav! Besides FREEDOM, he also found new FRIENDS here. Initially however, their primal ‘territorial’ instincts did take over. But, after a few harmless growls and snarls, all became well between them. We were not too surprised by this turn of events, as Vaibhav is used to being around humans and dogs. But, what took us by surprise was his wide-eyed reaction to the pony in the farm. Vaibhav has never seen such an animal before. So, he was curious, but cautious. It was funny to see him run around the pony in circles, trying to judge if he is a friend or a foe. The pony played it cool though; so eventually, vaibhav did too!
By this time, Vaibhav was spent, and badly needed a place to cool off. In comes Vaksana’s cute, compact, dream of a farmhouse, ‘PICO’. This airy, air-conditioned, aesthetically-designed farmhouse gave Vaibhav and us the much needed respite from the heat. Since we had carried Vaibhav’s food with us, we fed him. To our wonderment, he gobbled it up without nit-picking. All the running around had helped him work up a healthy appetite. I would like to add here that if your pets are fond of home-cooked chicken meals, then the hosts will be more than happy to cook it for them. They just require a day’s notice.
Not just pets… wholesome, home-cooked, vegetarian food awaits us too at Vaksana! Meal time at Vaksana is a lesson in hospitality. All meals are lovingly prepared by the family that owns and runs the farm – – a family with two wonderful women as its backbone – 71-year old Kasturi and her 89-year old mother Lakshmi Ammal. The farm produce is predominantly featured in the menu each day. The food is served steaming hot, the spread is eye-popping, and the taste….lip-smacking! A mother’s kind, selfless heart will be visible in the generous portions that are served. The hosts’ love for their ancestral land and all that grows in it will shine through in the care they take to prepare the food. Their respect for fellow human beings, whether they are guests at the farm, folks who work on it, or just people passing by, is one of their endearing qualities, and defines the cultural fabric of rural India.
For all these reasons and more, by the time we left, Vaksana had become a second home to us and to Vaibhav! Till we got into our car, Vaibhav was seen prancing around the landscape, and even playing guide to us. It was a joy to watch him confidently lead the way, and take us to the mango orchards, the paddy fields, and to two hidden gems – these are two darling little man-made ponds within the farm, which are used to store rain water. Spend some time near this water body and let a sense of peace and calm engulf you!
When we returned to our concrete existence in Chennai, we couldn’t stop thinking about the beautiful farm, the gorgeous farm house, and the passionate, vibrant, loveable women behind both! Most importantly, we could not take the vision of Vaibhav sprinting around without a care in the world, out of our heads!
Vaksana farms is located near Rettanai village, in Tindivanam, Tamilnadu. For bookings, contact Mr. Kirubashankar @ 09841597744. Also, visit www.VaksanaFarms.in for more details.