Geschrieben von
Dharmendra Prasad

Biography of a potato

Kudari (a iron tool with wooden handle is used to create parallel sections in the field) and soil meet in seasons. The tool chopped the soil and soil becomes soft and powered. The field is now ready for shaping and engraving with another tool. Preparing a field for potato cultivation is a work of concentration, patience and repeating of gestures and design thinking in agrarian. Kashi nath prasad is seen working in his field to plant potatoes, his grandson is observing and learning the process.

Potatoes placed at a average distance of six inches in lines engraved in the field with iron tool by elders in family.

Old, young and children all participates in the cultivation of potatoes in the Bhojpur region of Bihar. This image is from Nadaon village, potatoes are seen placed in the engraved lines on the soil surface.

A potato field with tools, people, morning light and impressions of people foot marks on the soil.

Potato fields composed in repetition of forms which allow water to flow in each negative channels. This design of field makes the irrigation process simple and functional, minimizing the production of gesture and toil in the potato production. The image is from Nadaon village, in the north india this technique of dividing the plot in many sections is used to cultivate the potatoes. In our childhood days we used to place potatoes at equal distance in the field. All childrens of the joint family works in this processes making this feeling as a micro collective event in life.

Fresh irrigated potato field in the Nadaon Village in Bihar.
A young farmer working in his potato field in december noth at Nadaon village.
Potato field in Nadaon village irrigated with water in the month of November and December.
Potato field after irrigation in January month at Nadaon Village.
Potato field after irrigation in January month at Nadaon Village.

After harvest I landed into fire. Before going to the empty stomach of an old landless farmer my skin roasted multiple times in water vapour. I was smashed between the raw and sunburn fingers of a women.

How a tool cut the moisture?

As I exposed to sunlight, I was also detached from the body of a plant. Light was there, photosynthesis was not.

Potatoes in the field after harvest.
Potato Harvesting
Potatoes kept after harvest

I transformed, as taste, smell, colour and structure. I transformed through tools, time, profit, greed, machines, population and loaded hunger.

Potatoes kept in house after harvest.
Farmers selling potatoes in the market in Buxar town in Bihar

Under the soil, it’s a different world. An iron tool, layered with warmth of hunger pierced within my body and I become separated from myself. I got exposed to sky, winds, and uncountable empty stomachs.

The fireplace in winter becomes the place of collective sharing and roasting potatoes for lunch and dinner.

The wrinkles and skin colour of these hands of multiple gender and age are the evidence of weather, intensity of light, land holdings, their architectural settings, nature of work they do and the materials they work with with.

These hands are the hands of farmers from my family in Nadaon village. These hands planted potatoes and other crops in countless seasons.

Cultivators Note

On the bed of toil and worries,
All night,
A sleepless season rolls from one side to another.
On the crossroad of conflicts, care harassed and wounded.
With age, a wrinkle begun to sprout in my eyes, my vision cracked and disappear.
The crust of my dream is deteriorating, and the core is shivering.
I am a landless cultivator.
I plough dead soils,
And looking for the moisture, here and there like a thirsty bird.
My body roasted by the heavy rains in monsoon.
Beneath my feet are the primitive cracks, with cracked skin I walk from one civilization to another.
After that,
I stopped harvesting knowledge
And I am tired of discoveries and explorations.

Alu chokha and Makuni are the dishes, very common in the Bhojpur region in India. The Alu chokha is roasted and boiled potatoes smashed with green chillies, roasted tomatoes and salt. People eat Alu chokha wilt Litti and Makuni. Litti and Makuni are the most popular dishes of the Bhojpuri community in Bihar.

Easter potato

If this website was powered by potatoes, it would need 250 potatoes