Hyderabad: Do you sometimes wish to get away from all the chaos and hide under a rock? Well, that is exactly what Panta Petrovic has been doing for the past 20 years. Yes, he has been literally living in a cave atop the Stara Planina Mountains in southern Serbia for the past two decades.
And what’s more, he didn’t even know there was something called ‘Covid’ existing and found out about it during a rare trip to the supermarket in his hometown Poirot last year. Petrovic has also got his Covid jab now.
When the 70-year-old got to know about the pandemic, he knew he was going to get vaccinated as soon as he could. As the virus could any day reach his cave too, he said.
The cave-bound hermit said that he “doesn’t understand the fuss” anti-vaxxers make about the vaccine. He said, “I want to get all three doses, including the extra one. I urge every citizen to get vaccinated, every single one of them.”
Petrovic’s home is only accessible by a steep climb. He receives welfare as well as food donations and supplies for the animals he owns. His home inside the cave has an old rusty bathtub which he uses as a toilet (two for one), some benches and a stack of hay which he sleeps on.
Explaining why he decided to live in isolation, Petrovic said, “I was not free in the city. There is always someone in your way – you either argue with your wife, neighbours, or the police. Here, nobody is pestering me.”
Petrovic worked as a labourer before he decided to relocate to the cave. Now, he spends his days searching for leftover food from bins. He goes fishing at the local creek and eats mostly mushrooms.
Also, before leaving Pirot, Petrovic donated all his money to the community by funding the construction of three small bridges in the town. “Money is cursed, it spoils people. I think nothing can corrupt a human like money,” he said.