New Delhi is literally where it all began for me. My parents lived in New Delhi from 1975 to 1980. My father worked for CASA (Church's Auxiliary for Social Action, http://casa-india.org/pages/about-us/about-casa.html) and my mother taught elementary grades at the American Embassy School.
I was born on January 10, 1977. My sister was also born in New Delhi in November of 1979. Our brother was born in NJ in 1981.
My sister and I were born at East-West Medical Clinic. On my birthday, my parents and I went around New Delhi to see family landmarks. The clinic still exists but is no longer in the location pictured here.
We lived in Pancsheel Park neighborhood. This is what our house, N-75, looks like now. It used to be a on- story building and is now three.
Me in our front lawn, standing on the house side of the wall that separates the house property from the street.
My mother in the kitchen.
It gets hot. Me and my father.
Playing dress up- making a sari out of a table cloth.
My mother holding me, with some of her students at the American Embassy School.
This is what the American Embassy School facilities look like now! We got a great tour of the grounds. Only one of the buildings from the 1970's still stands. Enrollment has tripled since that time and my mother said the grounds were hardly recognizable.
Birthday lunch with the Chakarabortys and the Sprungers at Sagar in Defence Colony. South Indian food. Check out the size of Madhurima's paper dosa!
Me and Mom
Both families! From left to right: Sulakshana, Mrs. Chakraborty, me, Madhurima, my mother, my father, Mr. Chakraborty. Kris took the photo.
Me and Anuraag. While in Delhi, we visited with some of my parents' friends. Anuraag's father and my father overlapped at CASA and our families have stayed in touch.
Me and my parents with the Agrawals ( Iris, Sushant, and Ida). Dr. Sushant Agrawal is the current director of CASA. He also worked at CASA with my father and they have seen each other many times over the past 30 years due to my father's continued work with world relief organizations.
Sushant cooked us an amazing dinner featuring pan fried fish crusted with poppy seeds.
And, of course, we went to Agra. And so did Oprah. On the same day we went. Had we not been following the news we wouldn't have known. We were there and gone before her and her entourage arrived much later in the day.
Family picture, February 1979.
Family picture, January 2012. Yes, my mom is wearing the very same shawl.
The Taj Mahal looks exactly like it looks in all the pictures you've ever seen of it. It's surreal.
At the Taj Mahal
Being in India felt like being at home. Not necessarily because of some early childhood recognition (although I won't totally discredit that possibility) but certainly because I was with people who are home for me and who are from my other geographic homes- My parents! Madhurima and Kris, oh how I miss you in Minnesota. Meeting up with Melissa for lunch and an art event just like we could do in Minneapolis. And I was welcomed into so many homes- Being part of the Chakraborty family, home, and routine. Visiting with my parent's friends at their homes.
So India was my first home. Then New Jersey, Then Minnesota. I've loved Minnesota but it feels like there is a next place on that list. Or maybe it's a return...