Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday With the Jagannaths

The house that I am staying at in Hyderabad right now is very close to the Jaganath family’s house. I met Sid, who’s my age, several months ago and hanging out with him has been a highlight of every trip into Hyderabad. I met his father, Jagan, not long after and almost immediately became a yoga student of his. Always a wonderful and invigorating experience despite the 6am start time! Recently I have been seeing Divya, Sid’s fiancée, more frequently and it’s been great getting to know her. I’ve also met Sid’s older brother and sister-in-law, Harish and Sharda, a couple times during visits.

Yesterday I spent a great day with the entire family. Piya, our new RDF volunteer, and I had breakfast with Jagan and then spent the afternoon at the mall with him, Sid, and Divya doing wedding shopping. Afterward, we went back to their house and whiled away the hours until dinner playing Scrabble, Pictionary, and cuddling Flash, their adorable seven-week-old golden lab puppy. Pictionary only finished when Flash decided to pee on the board, probably to return the attention to himself! Harish and Sharda joined the games when they came home and Divya’s parents came over for dinner.

Harish and Sharda live at home with Jagan, and Divya will join Sid there after the wedding. Joint households are still quite common out here but this was my first time really experiencing one. The Jaganaths aren’t the Brady Bunch and I’m sure there can be conflict with so many people living together, but on this Sunday I saw one of the best sides of this living setup. Hanging out, chatting, playing games, and eating dinner with family who came and went freely reminded me of weekends with close friends at home, whether on Lopez or Fire Island, in San Francisco or New York. It was the perfect dose of friends and family and relaxation.

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