Sunday, July 02, 2006

In Rural India, It (Finally) Took a Village

In Rural India, It (Finally) Took a Village: "I was looking for something that feels a little more real, like what I had found more than 20 years back. I was an American kid of 6 when I first set foot in a Rajasthani village where my father was born and raised. After the initial culture shock -- no electricity or running water, for starters -- I glimpsed a world of color, anchored in old ways. Admittedly, I've looked back since then with misty eyes -- something my next trip to the village, in 2004, didn't cure me of. After all I'd heard about the flight of Indians (including some of my cousins) to cities, I expected a scene straight out of a Feed the Children ad. Instead, green fields of wheat and mustard swayed in the breeze. Schoolchildren treated me to dance and song. Women in red saris with gold and silver trim grabbed my hand and led me into their homes for a cup of chai."

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