The family that hosts in Pondi are so sweet and warm. They constantly have new couch surfers coming in and they always greet them with a smile. I felt a nice connection with them as I spent time sitting with them and joining in on their daily activities. The family consists of my host, N, his mother, father, sister, grandmother, and grandfather. When I wake up in the morning they are always chopping something or cleaning. They stop what they are doing to make me breakfast and make sure I have morning tea. When they ask me to eat, I always ask if they are eating too because I enjoy us eating together.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner consists of sitting on the floor and eating with our hands. It is nice talking to my host’s sister. My favorite person is actually the father. We built a special connection with one another through our nice morning meditation sessions.
Each day he would teach me new meditation techniques and he would demonstrate each meditation technique himself. I am very thankful to learn from someone like him and I can see that his spirit is so connected and peaceful. Frequently he would forget the English name for a word and would present with a puzzled face. After a couple seconds, he would start describing in his own words. He always wore traditional white dorga and white t shirt with poojas performed in the morning and afternoon.
Another thing that was surprising to me was that the 80 year old Grandfather sleeps on the floor. It is common for their religion to sleep with mats. There is only one bed in the house and the couch surfers(in their early twenties) got to use the bed while the cute Grandpa slept on the floor and so did I.
An 80 year old man giving up his bed for couch surfers-I am a bit confused by this. The most adorable man whose voice sounds like a guy from the muppets, sits so adorably and eats his food and watches the Tamil videos. He has a proshetic leg and he is sleeping on the floor so a couple of couch surfers can sleep in his room. They are probably like 21 years old and this man is 80 years old. This tells you something about the hospitality of this family and certain India families really go above and beyond.
My host said that I should never tell people that I am staying with a couch surfer in India because it is strongly discouraged for foreigners to be hosting locals. I always just say I am staying with a friend, but that is not the point. The point is that this family goes out on limb hosting people everyday. I just can’t help, but wonder why they do it. I know it is exciting getting to know foreigners and it is a cultural learning experience, but they are not technically supposed to be doing it. All rules are pretty much made to be broken in India or let’s just say they are quite flexible, but at the end of the day it is still the law.
This just connects back to my other post about how these beautiful people go above and beyond for others and my amazing hosts I had on my journey thus far. It is incredible to meet people with such a giving heart and spirit. It inspires me to try and be a better person and give.
IT’S THE THE BEAUTY OF GIVING=)