Back to where it all began...
Trip Start Jan 15, 2011
69Trip End Apr 15, 2011
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On the drive to the pind we passed many green fields filled with wheat and Buffalo’s bathing in the lakes. As we drew closer, the roads became more and more narrow until we had to just stop our car at the side of one road and get out and walk the rest of the way. As we walked further into town the locals kept popping their heads out of their front doors to catch a glimpse of the foreigners
Our first stop was Aman’s Great Grandfather’s roadside shop. He used to sit on the veranda of the shop and sell opium (in today’s world he would be considered a drug dealer but back then opium was legal). Aman’s Uncles recounted tales of them waiting to get money from their father and also packing opium in little pouches to be sold to ‘customers’ (in today’s world these customers would mostly likely be drug addicts). A little further down the street we met a local shopkeeper that happened to be their 83 year old cousin. Although they had met him on a prior trip back to the pind about 7 years ago, prior to that they had not met him in 20-25 years. We also saw places where they had played marbles, ran and played tag, and also the water wells where they had dived into and learned to swim on their very own with no parental guidance whatsoever.
We walked further into town and many people came out of their house and asked us where we were from and who we were. Most of them knew Aman’s Dad’s family and if they didn’t, they had heard of them through their parents
The family left Kilaraipur in 1966 and moved to the city of Ludhiana and after that the entire family dispersed to different locations across the globe. To think that the entire family came from this small village with barely any electricity and roads not wide enough for a car, to where they are now is somewhat unfathomable. Some took 8 day trips on a Cargo Ship from Mumbai to Mombasa crammed in the underbelly of the ship with just a cot to sleep on. The boat trip cost $400 Rupees at that time while the trip by air cost $1200 Rupees. At that time $1200 Rupees was a YEARLY salary so making the trip by air was ridiculously expensive and you had no choice but to make the trip by boat.
The whole tour of the village made us think that our generation looks for adventure by way of travel while the last generation had adventure just by living life on a day to day basis…The experiences and hardship they encountered to get to where they are today is something I don’t think we can even imagine no matter how many stories we are told. The trip to the original birthplace of our Father gives us an even greater appreciation for all the hardwork and dedication our parents have done to get to where they are today and give us the lives that we lead…