The story revolves around Jinda, described as a northern Thai beauty , who is the daughter of a rice farmer. Her simple life changed when a group of university students, headed by Ned, probably a Thai prince charming in his own right, came upon her village to live among them so they could experience life in the rural area firsthand.
Times were hard, as there was a drought. The rice stalks were light, not producing the bountiful yield of rice. Children starved to death. During the few times that Jinda’s older sister Dao regained some of her youthful joy in the troubled time, I couldn’t help feeling light hearted.
A simple life in the village seemed like paradise. A bountiful yield gave rise to babies, yet with the absence of water, those little lives were taken away. Jinda develops a romantic relationship Ned.
Jinda’s family is the focus in this story, as her father suffered at the hands of a corrupt political system. Just as the rice stalks let themselves be blown every which way, the Thai farmers also did the same, with regards to the feudal system surrounding the paddy fields. The presence of the Thammasart University students however, introduced a revolution in the ‘way things are done’.The concept of blind obedience and submission was thoroughly tested. Not without tragedies of course. Four young students from the university arrives at a village during their summer holidays, wanting to spend their time with the farmers and to understand their life.
The year had been bad, as draught hit the farmers with another low harvest. The livelihood has been on few roots picked up the nearby hills. There isn’t the usual happiness around the harvest as they will be left with almost nothing after the rents are paid. The arrival of students with rice and fish, had been a welcome change at least to a few households.