Jaipur is known as the Pink City of India. During the rule of Sawai Ram Singh, the whole city was painted pink to welcome Edward, Prince of Wales. Today, avenues remain painted in pink, giving Jaipur a distinctive appearance.

10 Year old’s view of Journey to India — Child 2 Story.

It started when my mom, my sister and I were having dinner and my mom was talking about us moving to India, attending school there. The thought of it made me cry. I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about what my mom said. The next day it felt as if it was all a dream. Till one day my parents started to pack all my stuff and their stuff. My friends from other cities and states came to say bye. My closest cousin came and my friends from Tampa also came. My friends from Tampa gave me new roller skates to use for school next year in India. My dad got me and my sister an HP touchscreen laptop. The day before the flight two of my friends came. One gave me gifts the other took me to panda express to eat. I was sad to leave both for one year. It was finally the day to go. I saw my next door neighbor and best friend taking out the trash and I said bye. We went to the airport, boarded the plane to Charlotte North Carolina. On our way to India, we had a stopover in Germany and UK. We went to Germany to meet my new baby cousins. Then to my aunt in U.K. (Had a baby too).

I landed in India where I saw my cousins and my uncle. They were so delightful to see me my sister and dad (mom did not come yet). It kind of felt weird sitting next to a tall guy for an hour who is related but I don’t know him.

Once we got to the community I first thought was how nice is this place organized. It was a gated community with 2 storied villas. Clubhouse, pool, a huge park called D Park, small kids play area. Then I came to my grandmother’s house. I said hi to everyone and ate brunch and then they gave me a tour of the house and we went to sleep. To adjust with the time difference my dad said that we could skip a few days of school. We skipped 3 days on the third day we took a tour of the school. The first day of school wasn’t bad except that I cried. I guess I missed my old school. But in two months it was the worst thing ever. I did make friends only because my aunt told them to play with me but I am pretty grateful for that.

A friendly street dog. Dog lovers pet her.

August 22 is my birthday. My aunt set a tailor to work on my gown I was going to wear on my birthday. In India you get to wear whatever you want on your birthday to school. I wore a nice dress with polka dots. School wasn’t so bad. In the morning I got calls from a lot of relatives including my mom and dad. I also got a phone call from my friends in America. That day my friends from the community came to my birthday party. We were going to have it in the clubhouse but there was a marriage going on. That day my parents FaceTime me and my sister just to see us on our birthday.

Day before my birthday, my grand ma took me to my dad’s cousin’s son’s wedding. My atha’s (aunt) daughter called a beautician to get ready. I got so jealous watching her and wanted to get ready like her. I got to wear bright pink langa. There was such a huge crowd in wedding. There was a big line for food.

About school in India — first 2 months were okay but then it started getting bad. The teachers started getting really really serious. In India it wasn’t illegal to hit students. So every day there is at least one or two students getting hit, spanked by the teacher. Teachers also used inappropriate language for example useless, idiots, Trash and more. The students were so obsessed at winning everything. One day we were playing a game in PE against the other two classes in fourth grade and they screamed at me just because I knocked over the stick we are supposed to jump over. In America every fourth grade class does the wax museum. In India we didn’t do one. Because of my American English accent some of my classmates said that I was overreacting. But in the Indian schools there was a lot of fun times like in lunch where the teacher would put a movie on. Sports day, and Annual day, Batukamma dance, Gobbemma dance on Sankranthi and more. I always used to have trouble getting home because my backpack was so heavy.

In a few days my grandma said it is vinayaka chavithi. On vinakaya chavithy we went the clubhouse for puja every night for nine days for activities. My sister and I participated in the talent show that they arranged one of the nights. My sister and I danced for Chammak Challo song. My grandma and aunt were so happy.

Next came batukamma festival. A chinna batukamma was arranged in D park. Many of community members showed up with huge flowery plates. They all danced for traditional batukamma songs. I wore a traditional langa. Soon came Dasara.

Bathukamma represents cultural spirit of Telangana. Bathukamma is a beautiful flower stack, arranged with different unique seasonal flowers most of them with medicinal values, in seven concentric layers in the shape of temple gopuram. In Telugu, ‘Bathukamma’ means ‘Mother Goddess come Alive’ and Goddess Maha Gauri-‘Life Giver’ is worshipped in the form of Bathukamma — the patron goddess of womanhood, Maha Gauri Devi

My mom decided to go to my maternal grandma’s home for Dasara. My mother is one of 3 sisters. All sisters have twins. My older cousins from California are twin brothers. I and my sister are twin sisters and my younger aunt in Germany has two-year-old twin boy and girl. All 3 sisters originally lived quiet far from each other, spread across globe. They all decided to move to India. For Dasara 3 sets of twins met for first time. It was totally exciting. House was full of people. I did get to visit lot of my relatives too. For pedda batukamma, my mom took us to nearby lake. Oh man a lot of ladies made plates with a mountain of flowers my aunt made the tallest.

I spent more time with my dad’s side relatives. My dad’s side lived in Hyderabad where I went to school. At my dad’s side I celebrated most of the Indian festivals including Diwali Ugadi Vinakaya chavithy Sankranti Batukamma Holi Raksha bandhan And More…… On Diwali I went to my aunts house to light firecrackers.

We even celebrated English New Year. I did a dance that a dance teacher taught to me and my friends. But that day my sister got a extremely bad fever. She couldn’t even get off the bed. At party they bought a cake but no one ate it. Because smudged the cake in everyone’s face.

On sankranthi we make muggu’s and a man called haridasu comes to each house and this festival is to celebrate new harvest. On sankiranthi we went to a village to celebrate with my mom’s side. I made muggu.

These adorable muggu is part of South Indian culture. Every wife wakes up early in the morning cleans her courtyard and decorates them with beautiful muggulu. The yard is sprinkled with cow dung water and with white muggu powder or rice flour. Sankranti is especially noted as a festival of muggulu. With the advent of Dhanur masam (month of Dhanur) every street and courtyard is adored with vibrant muggulu. These are also called kolam or rangoli.

Holi is celebrated by throwing holi colors at each other and it now has come to we also use water. On holi I went to the community park to play. My cousin brothers also came. Well, on Raksha bandhan I didn’t do anything. Raksha bandhan is celebrated by tying a Rakhi to brother’s hand — a type of bracelet to a brother. It’s like brothers day.

Ugadi is Telugu New Year. On this day we have Ugadi pachadi. My aunt, cousins had come for lunch that day. Tayayya did homam at home.

We had our school annual day. I participated in a exercise and dance. Stage was so huge.

Typical School Annual day celebrations start with Shaaka. Shaaka is group excercise. Band usually is played thru out excercise. Followed by stage performances for traditional and Folk songs.

So the days went by school ended. My family and me went on tour to north India and saw the Taj Mahal, Delhi and Rajasthan.

Amer Palace (Hindi: आमेर क़िला, also spelled and pronounced as Amber) is located in Amer, a town 6.8 mi from Jaipur, Rajasthan state, India. Located high on a hill, it is the principal tourist attractions in the Jaipur area. The town of Amer was originally built by Meenas, and later it was ruled by Raja Man Singh.

My mom planned to visit her grand mothers home for long time. She told me she is planning when all her childhood friends can go together. My mom said no devices there. I thought I would be bored there. But I saw so many home raised chickens, goats, buffaloes and ducks. Somehow I wasn’t bored.

A snippet in a remote village — Nagayya Gudem. Old women sleeping under the tree. These villages are without electricity most of the day. People are used to resting under trees. They make their own cots called Nulaka Mancham. It is just 4 rods and 4 legs of wood fresh from the wood…they were sold afresh without any seasoning or curing whatever. It was brought home to be turned into a sleeper. For this they had to buy rolls of fiber made of jute which too tended to ease and elongate, so the resultant shape of the cot was a fight between the frame and the fiber over time. And so the jute was never woven over the entire frame but a foot or a half was left on one side for pulling and tightening by jute ropes…the whole design was a clever ploy over the forces of Raw Nature.

My mom kept talking about doing a Saree ceremony and then one day my mom started talking to my aunt about the dress I am supposed to wear. We went to the tailor. I chose the color parrot green, my sister chose dark blue. Then my dad came from America with a bag full of solar flowers that wiggle in the sun. I and my sister had to pack all those solar flowers in a gift bag. We made about 100 to 120 bags. My mom hired these people to put henna on us and other family members. And on the day of my Sari ceremony I had to wake up at 6:00 in the morning. It took about 2 to 3 hours to get ready. I had to put extension hair and on top of that I had to put flowers on the extension. So my hair was so heavy. My sari ceremony took place in Swagath Grand hotel. The hall was beautiful. My mom wrote a speech for my sister and me to say in party, which says thank you to everyone in India who helped us through that tough time. We took pics with everyone. Then my 2 year old cousin (the girl) came on the stage and sat with us.

Half sari function or Langa Voni Telugu: లంగా వోని, Pattu Pavadai Tamil: பட்டு பாவாடை, Langa Davani Kannada: ಲಂಗ ದ್ವನಿ. In South India, Ritu Kala Samskara Ceremony is an Indian Hindu ceremony performed when a girl wears a sari for the first time. In modern times, as a “half-saree party” or half-sari function, where the female relatives and friends of the girl gather, and she receives and wears a half-saree and other gifts. Thereafter, at ceremonious events, she wears the half-sarees, until her marriage when she puts on a full Sari. The tradition of giving Langa Voni by maternal grandparents begins with the girl’s first naming ceremony Namakaran and her first rice feeding ceremony called Annaprashana. She receives her last one at her coming of age ceremony.

Three weeks after the sari ceremony my closest cousins from Atlanta came and we went to Srishailam temple trip with them. 1 cousin was 5 and the other was 12 and they also had a sari ceremony. In that sari ceremony my sister and I did a dance and we were helping to put all their gift cards in the bag. My 5 year old cousin got really cranky and turned her back for more than half the photos. We started packing to go back America. On the day we were going to leave every one cried. I cried in the flight. My both grandmothers cried. I was sad to leave. But my sister didn’t care much. So before going to America we went to Dubai. In Dubai we went to the tallest building in the world and more.

This report I only wrote because my mom made me but while writing I learned a lot of stuff including that the India trip wasn’t the worst year ever. This report reminded me of the good not the bad. Most humans tend to remember the bad and not the good. Well now you know my story right and wrong.

This is the traditional inlay work as done in Taj Mahal and still done by hands with same tools, used in Taj Mahal. The real semi precious stones inlay on white Makrana Marble. The most interesting specialty is Durability of the articles. It can be preserved for generations and coming generations will be using as a gift. The art of this marble work,by which precious stones were embbedded into Makrana marble using organic glues and stains and dyes and polished with great difficulty, it takes years to make.

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