That is from a short story, ‘Morning after the storm’ (http://abrahamtharakansblog.blogspot.com/2007/04/morning-after-storm-part-1.html).
Once upon a time, haystacks reflected prosperity. The paddy fields would be readied and sown before the rains. In a few months time the crop would be harvested. After threshing and winnowing, the paddy would go into granaries. And the land would dot with haystacks. That was how it was, till recently.
Now the situation is different. Large tracts of rice fields lying uncultivated are a common sight in Kerala today (see: Un-ploughed lies my land ). Many of those who still maintain cows and cowsheds have to buy hay at high prices. The haystack at Olavipe in the picture above is made with bought material.
Does this mean there is less prosperity now? Not really. Generally speaking, people better off today than at any time in the past that I can remember. This morning I found number two-wheelers at the local church. A decade or so back the vehicle population was limited to half a dozen bicycles.
Most people have jobs now. They eat regular meals, dress better, send their children to good schools. It is not at all surprising that the youngsters prefer to work elsewhere and not in the agriculture field. They can afford to buy rice with their earnings.
That too is progress.
Photo by me. Click on it for enlarged view.
Also see: Kerala: Left with empty granaries