When people think of Jaipur the first thing that normally springs to mind is the Pink City. For us though, thanks to an unlikely experience, we immediately think of the Gautam family.
How A Family In Jaipur Restored Our Faith In India
Our Random Day
We’d set out a pretty loose plan when arriving in Jaipur. The 30th June was supposed to be just another touristy day in India, starting with a trip to the Nahargah Fort. Here we’d planned to capture some awesome photos of the city from above but what you may call a ‘slight disturbance’ stopped us in our tracks.
The Plan Changer
We were minding our own business, having just finished our hike to the top of the fort, when suddenly… BOOM!! Our friend’s taken out by a bull from behind!! Next thing, the bull strolls on, our friend’s as white as a sheet and we’re surrounded by every Indian within a 100 metres.
You see up until now we’d had a bit of a love/hate relationship with India. The pervy men, the con artists and the numerous times we’d had sticks and rocks thrown at us was really starting to over shadow our experience.
Amidst all the hustle and bustle though, this time one family really stood out to us. They seemed so sincere and went out of their way to make sure we were okay. Had we finally met a genuine Indian family?! Although we knew the fort was a write off for that day, behind every cloud there’s a silver lining.
After all the drama had died down and our friend had came back round, the family that had been looking after us offered us a ride back to the city. Of course we accepted it and jumped straight in the boot with two young cousins Div and Jai. We soon got talking to everybody (Jai’s parents, Div’s mum and their Aunty) about general topics like where we were from and what we thought of Indian culture, and before long they insisted we go back to their home to have dinner. This was perfect, just the kind of random travel experiences that we live for!
A Big Surprise
Twenty-five minutes later and we’d arrived at the Gautam’s beautiful family home. Before we even had chance to take off our shoes we were bombarded with hugs and kisses from aunties, uncles and Grandchildren galore… turns out it was the Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary and we weren’t the only guests!! Some had even travelled up from Mumbai. In a matter of moments we felt instant gratitude for being invited to such a special occasion.
Before any real introductions could be done, the Grandmother, known to the family as ‘the caring queen’, rushed over to scan our friend and make sure he was OK. One of the Uncles decided it was best for him to go to the hospital to get checked over and not only did they take him there but they paid for his injections too. A small gesture that went a long way and reminded us of the Indian culture we were used to back home.
Anyway, back to the party. In India, the 50th year of marriage involves a huge celebration and renewing of the vows. In this case, there had been a heavily planned event with over 500 guests just the day before. Not only that, one of the aunties was also celebrating her birthday so this called for CAKE!!! The birthday girl cut small chunks and fed everyone individually using her hands, which was very entertaining…
A Humbling Experience
For the majority of the evening we all sat in the living room working out the Gautam’s huge family tree and laughing over how confusing it got. We’re happy to say that in the end we finally cracked it. Photo sessions took place and many family stories were exchanged. Div’s father even went on to show us a slideshow of family photos including ones from the big day. After we done the same and introduced them to our family via our phone screens.
Then Came The Food
After messing around with the kids on the rooftop for a while, it was almost time to have dinner. A traditional Indian feast was cooked by a chef they’d hired for the week. This meant they could sit back and enjoy the celebrations stress free.
We were prioritised as guests and felt bad for being continuously waited on but this was completely normal to them. The women dished up our dinner and made sure it didn’t stop coming. In Indian culture it’s rude to say no to food so we gave in to their persistency a couple of times but in the end we HAD to politely decline. One more grain of rice could have slipped us into a food coma!
We chilled out for a couple more hours and everyone took some final photos but by this time it was getting late. So we said our goodbyes and promised to meet again in Mumbai.
A Day That We’ll Remember Forever
During the taxi home we reflected on the evening. After nearly two months of the constant hustle and bustle it was so refreshing to feel a piece normality again. More so than that, it had restored our faith in India.
Such a huge reality check hit once the whole night of unexpected events finally come to an end. We were in the wrong place at the right time that day in Jaipur and if everything hadn’t have turned out the way it did, we would never have met the Gautam family and be telling this story to you now.
THIS IS WHY WE TRAVEL!!
For places to stay in Jaipur you can check out the prices here.
For things to do in India or which route to take, make sure to check out our break down – The Best Of India – A Route & Trip Guide