On our way back from Hampi, we decided to go by a city called Madhugiri (literally means hone mountain) where I lived from 1941-1946, where I went to the elementary school for a few years. I had a vivid memory of the location of the house we lived in, but no address. As you can imagine, the town has grown a lot in 60 years. All I could say was the house was near a middle school. When we asked the locals, they said “O now there are two government middle schools”. We passed the middle school, but it was surrounded by a wall that I had no memory of. So we knocked on people’s homes trying to locate, and finally we saw it. We ended asking people in their 70’s or 80’s to jog their memory and we found our house at last. Spoke briefly to people who lived there now. It was a true Ah Haw moment.
Once we finished this visit, we are on our way to bangalore, and we had a flat tire. I was wondering when we would have one, and it happened in a small village. Luckily, there was facilities to get it fixed. At this point we were surrounded by small children and later joined by their mothers. They had all kinds curiosity questions. They wanted to look at a dollar bill, wanted to know what my caste was, how many kids we had. I spoke to a lot of them in telugu (my mother tongue) which pleased them even more. I woman about 25 had one child and was very curious about jeannie. She wanted to know if she (Jeannie) knew how to wrap a sari. When I asked how many kids she had, she said one (the girl she was holding), and her mother in the background shouted “One child is enough”. It was a very unique and special experience most would not have.
During our journey, we saw lots of sugar cane, peanuts. Our driver is a big fan of peanuts. On our way he stopped a bullock cart carrying peanuts as they had pulled them off the ground and the fellow gave a whole bunch of them to us.
people were very friendly and very curious. They have not seen many Indians with foreign wives, so this is all a very new experience for them.
At Hampi, we saw some school children following Jeannie around and wanted to shake her hand. As soon as she started to do this, the rest of the kids (30-40 of them) wanted to do the same. I think Jeannie was a bit overwhelmed.
Lots of little experiences make us more aware of the peoples of the world.