The family tea

Yesterday we ran into the village of Sailana. Small but bustling little town, ancient buildings surround a central palace of some 300 years old. The palace has a unique bit of history, it’s home to the biggest cacti garden in India and the second biggest in Asia. I stopped here to film with Nick. Nick then joined me on the road to the camp. On running out of town, the streets were crazy with the end of the day traffic, bikes buzzing everywhere.

Round this one corner came this bike, buzzed past, but caught our attention as there was a young girl on the back shawl blowing in the wind, waving and laughing as she zapped past us, round the corner and gone.

A couple of kilometres later, here was this girl again. She was standing in the doorway of a home and called on us to please come in for tea in impeccable English. We unfortunately had to decline but promised we would return the next day at 7 in the morning before we left town, as it was getting dark.

Cold misty and just a peak of the sun, we returned to the girl’s home for tea. As we arrived, the door opened, we could see that they had been waiting for us. Out of the door boiled quite a few people, neighbours, uncles, aunts and the rest. We were invited in and joined the family.

It was so refreshing to see a different side to Indian life, we have been in many a home, but it’s been more formal and the biggest problem has been the language gap. Here we could chat freely and it also gave us an opportunity to get answers to so many questions that have been bugging us along the journey.

This young girl had a dream, she is well educated with a university degree and her biggest desire is to one day purchase the old palace in the town and return it back to its original glory, she then just looked down with her radiant smile as it slowly evaporated, how, here she was trapped in a situation that was nearly impossible to change. We then spoke to her father who was crazy about cricket, and asked him if he had ever seen a game live. He quietly shook his head and said it was also his life’s ambition to see one, but just couldn’t afford it. I sat there and thought to myself just for a day just some how if I could grant them a wish or lift them out of their situation, I get such a lump in my throat when I see people trapped in a situation.

Be thankful for what you have in life, appreciate it – do most of us really know what it’s like to really struggle, what it’s like to have the passion for life but just can’t get there, and you keep clawing at it but have never been given and opportunity to get a firm grip and pull yourself to the next level.

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