My father took us to Kundgol this last Sunday. It is a small, sleepy hamlet near Dharwad. There We have an ancestral home cared for by my Dad’s cousin. It is an Agnihotri home. A home that has seen several generations of Agnihotris. The previous night I shared with the kids about how the house is, about the bathroom, about the food, the Jatra itself, the crowds etc. This Jatra is a yearly event with decorated bulls, Brahma pooja and some famillies are honored with a role to play on the Bullock carts.
The drive into Kundgol was lovely. We were surrounded by green fields and some parts of Huballi’s factory ridden terrain. Raghu and Zoya met their twin cousins for the first time. My dad’s cousins gave us quite a welcome. We had a traditional lunch on plantain leaves. Raghu had plain ghee and rice and ignored the rest of the food. But he is managing to politely navigate social norms. He talks to me in my ear and tells me what he can eat. Both children managed to find their groove. They used their iPads for a bit. They walked up our little path to the local pond.
Sometimes i wonder if we would thrive in a small town in India. I love small towns in India. The big urban regions make me feel quite out of sorts. The cement, the lack of gardens and trees and lack of quiet… I can go on. So i shan’t. Suffice to say small town India is beautiful and easy on the eyes. I love the ambling buffalo and sleepy quiet.
At the end of the day someone asked Raghu how he felt about the day. He said the best part was being surrounded by a home and environment that was a part of his ancestry and that everyone in the house was connected to his blood line. It was a lovely summation for me too.