But the stone, from where we relished the aroma of freshly ground grains is now left unacknowledged with stagnant rain water in it for mosquitoes to breed.
How things change so fast.The introduction of a machine can change the lifestyle of a village or for that matter a country.
Not long ago, the elderly in our villages were seen thrashing grain on the stone or either step dancing on the grain. Everything had to be done manually. Yet after thrashing and step dancing, the grains are then poured onto the grind stone.
It is then ground with the help of a wooden rod to produce rice.
It was also the time for people to get together. According to Sithay from Punakha, families from Thimphu came to the villages to help out.
“It was a good reason for our families in the urban areas to come visit us and also lend us a hand,” she said.
It took days to produce a sack of rice but now with grinding machines available, producing rice has been made very easy. A sack of rice can be done in an hour or so.
“The machine has made our lives very easy. We don’t have to waste our time. It only needs a person to grind and the rest can do the other chores,” said Ap Gyeltshen.
“I loved playing with the grind stone. When I first saw it, I was so fascinated; I played with it till my palms were covered with blisters. But now they are of least interest to me as it is a waste of time,” said Sangay Rinchen, a class XII graduate.
These grinding stones uses the kinetic energy principle to work. People would dig drains and divert water from a small stream toward the water mill. At times, it was difficult for the villagers to get enough water to turn the grinding stone. And sometimes local disputes make it difficult for villagers to produce rice.
“I remember quarreling with my neighbors and when that happened they sometimes cut off the water supply coming to the mills,” said Ap Dorji from Punakha.