There are many trips we make during a year — some far, some near. But the trips back home are always special.
I grew up in small towns in America, and, though I was so far away, my parents made sure my roots were embedded in memories of Mangalore. Now when I say Mangalore, what I really mean is the outskirts of the main city and more like the tiny villages where our close family resides.
The most recent trip was a family trip with my boys to my ancestral home, which happens to be 400 years old! These homes are very rarely maintained and are so large, you can often get lost in them. The backyards are made up of large rice fields and an old man-made lake.
I made a conscious decision to let the boys experience the rural India as much as they experience the luxury of a 5-star hotel. In this rural set up, we learn to experience a place by actually living within it and experiencing what I call “the simple life”. I had the pleasure of taking the boys to a local cow farm where they enjoyed the company of petting and playing with calves for the whole afternoon and lay around on a stack of hay while eating local fruits plucked from the tree.
These were the memories of India I took back with me when I visited rural Mangalore and these were the memories my children walked away with smiles on their faces. As we move forward experiencing all that modern India has to offer, I truly believe it is important sometimes to remember what it has always offered.