Jaipur: Welcoming Arms
My time spend in Jaipur was marked by different highlights. Upon arriving In Jaipur early in the morning, we were picked up by a man named Aslam. Here he is!
Through mutual connections, we had made arrangements to stay with Aslam and his family during our stay in Udaipur! Aslam lives with his wife, Salma, and 9-year-old daughter, Farosat. Next door is Salma’s sister, husband, and daughter, Fatima. And one floor down, is Salma’s mother and father. They all share a large kitchen space, patio, and rooftop terrace. I was completely overwhelmed by the family’s hospitality. From the outside it doesn’t seem like they would have much to offer us- a rug on the floor for sleeping and a few warm meals- but the time spent with them was priceless. Farosat and Fatima are bundes of joy. We played jump rope on the patio and I tried to teach them how to do a criss-cross jump. Then they taught Harper and I how to play “pikachu”- a version of rock, paper, scissors. After dinners I laughed and cheered on the girls as they danced around and sang Hindi songs.
Our dinners were held on the patio, sitting on a blanket in the moonlight. Salma brought out deliciously simple Indian food that I had never tried before! One night she made a spicy chicken dish and the next night an Indian version of tortilla soup made with papad! The chapatti was always fresh of course.
Because of my love for cooking, Salma and I were able to bond on a deeper level. I asked about Indian cooking and she asked about baking cakes. She offers cooking classes on the side and has dreams of opening a small restaurant on the roof with Aslam. Her heart is made of gold and she felt like a mother to me in those two short days.
And here she is giving me henna on my hand! First henna I have ever had!