Sawan & Bhado (July & August) is Ropa time. The process
begins about 21 days before transplantation. Paddy seeds are sowed in a
small plot and within 21 days the seeds sprout into saplings, ready for transplantation.
The paddy field is prepared by trapping
water and tilling. Soil is tilled to change its structure, to kill weeds, and to manage crop residues.
Elimination of weeds is important, because they compete for water, nutrients, and light. The rice soil is specially tilled after plowing in order to create a better seedbed under the water, using tractors
or ox driven plow operating in water four to six inches (10 to 15
centimetres) deep. After this special tillage, fertilizer is added.
After the paddy field is ready,
the rice saplings are uprooted, tied
in bundles and transferred to the paddy field. Women form a row, each
holding a tuft of saplings, planting one sapling at a time and moving
backwards. All the while women either tell tales or sing folk songs.
In the yesteryears a kadoleta
pooja was performed before the ropa and villagers
helped (madaid) each other during ropa time. After the ropa, there
usually used to be a feast with plenty of rice bear and pork.