One of the guides our team worked with while in India was a man named Narenndra. He was kind and constantly went above and beyond to help us understand and enjoy our time in his country. One afternoon he took a friend and I to his family’s village. It was one of the most special experiences during my time in India. The pace was slow, the agenda was drinking chai and meeting people, and the day ended too quickly.
It was a small village outside of Bundi, India called Harna. We wandered around, met his family and friends, learned how to make chapati and other breads, chased kids that followed us around the winding and narrow village roads, and were invited in for chai and food too many times to count. It was a reminder that life does not always have to move in status updates and a whirlwind of information and activity. Sometimes life is better celebrated just wandering and meeting and listening and learning and exchanging blessings.
This is Ghasi who was a neighbor of the family but who joined us in the home to see what was going down. I love the clarity of his eye contrasted with the blur of smoke.
As I sat and asked questions and listened as they explained the daily activities I felt so blessed to be invited in, not just to their home but their lives for a small glimpse. I learned more about the people of India that afternoon then I did visiting the sites or reading articles. As we sat on the floor of a small, dark, cement kitchen his brother’s wife made bread and explained that the first piece was for the cow and the last piece was for the dog “because all are dependent.” We learned about the rules for veiling in front of male family members and I tried to scribble down notes so I would not forget and have to ask the same questions over and over. But even when I asked again they were gracious and loved sharing about their lives. So much of culture is in the small things of everyday and we can miss them if we are not just sitting on the kitchen floor hanging out.
As we made our way back to the car Narenndra told us that his family was so happy we came that “they will never sleep” because of the excitement. I felt the same. Family is so powerful. It is part of our story of who we become and it was special that Narenndra invited us in to his family’s lives for the day. Praying rich blessings on the people of Harna and so thankful for their hospitality.
A visual storyteller that focuses on human emotion & connection. I help families, individuals, & couples to capture their beautiful messy story.
I also partner with humanitarian, non-for-profit organizations, and NGOs share their stories with intention, dignity, & excellence, so they can have a greater impact on their communities.