India is a land of roughness, pride, discoveries and generosity
The scene is set in Shekhawati, towards the end of the month of July. On the occasion of an excursion with the kids of the Tushita Foundation of Amber, we set out to visit the native region of the great Rajputs – the legendary Indian military men. The monsoon is late this year; rain hasn’t yet showered northwestern India. It will in August, dramatically, damaging houses, roads, infrastructure, and eventually kill people, across Rajasthan.
India is a land of roughness.
Today’s heat proves it. The Thar desert starts here, between the districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar. The children are very excited. This afternoon, we will be gazing at the magnificent frescoes of different havelis, including the famous Podar Museum. A trip through history, organized by Veenaji and her husband Gajju Bana. He’s a Rajput and comes from Shekhawati. As everyone is cheering in the bus, Gajju sits quietly in the front, aware of his responsibility, proud to welcome people to the region of his origins, and as calm as I can imagine a brave Rajput would be before a battle.
India is a land of pride.
It’s difficult to get fresh air or even walk in the shade. We reach our destination at noon and enjoy the early 19th century craftsmanship on display. The magic of Hindu gods and goddesses reaches us. The kids dwell in awe in this environment, radically different from what they are used to, in Amber.
India is a land of discoveries.
Later on, we have lunch in a magnificent hotel on the road back to Amber. Nearly one hundred children lick their fingers; they gobble noodles, eat with relish and then go outside to play for a while. Gajju Bana, Veenaji, as well as the teachers of the Foundation are the guardians of the little ones’ joy. At this moment, our hosts’ eyes convey their happiness, the same feeling that drives them to devote themselves to the children day after day. In fact, they give as much as they receive from them.
India is a land of generosity, a generosity that now accompanies me everywhere I go, along with fond memories of India.