About the Author: Josh Glazeroff serves as the visa chief at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India.
For any parent, traveling with twins is twice the trouble and twice the fun. Now imagine traveling with two curious, energetic children in India, where cows, monkeys, dogs and the occasional elephant or camel roam the streets! Here the ordinary is extraordinary.
My wife and I have taken our children around quite a bit in the year since we’ve been in India. On weekends, we’ve taken train rides to impressive sites: the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the Amber Fort in Jaipur. We’ve flown to destinations near (the hills of Simla) and far (the hills of Kathmandu). We’ve ridden the occasional horse or elephant just to keep it interesting. And, though carsickness occasionally rears its ugly head, we’ve tried our best to drive around this huge capital city in which we live, New Delhi, to discover its rich history and varied neighborhoods. As we mark the places we’ve seen on our map of India, we look forward to exploring the places where we have not yet been.
Exploring the world’s religions has been another journey of its own. The twins can now identify the elephant-faced god Ganesh and know to say “Namaste” with their two hands together. They recognize the monkey-faced god Hanuman and love to ring the bells they find at his temples. They’ve been in a hundred-year-old church built by the British and explored thousand-year-old stupas in Nepal. They’ve spun prayer wheels, hung their prayer flags, and been mesmerized by the prayers of the sufis at the mosques. Rosh Hashanah starts soon and we hope to celebrate it with the Jewish community here.
On the food front, it’s also been an adventure. We like to eat rice and dhal every week, but who doesn’t? Naan breads is one of our favorites. The kids have started to develop a taste for momos (kind of like potstickers) and find Indian sweets like gulab jamun delicious. We even mange to sneak a hot dog or maybe pizza every once in awhile, just for something different.
What does this all mean for our children? We have perhaps subjected them to more than any child should face. The heat and dust can be quite a drag. But how many other American children will have the experiences they’ve had? How many of us Americans fail to appreciate the great things in the next town or the next state, let alone on the other side of the world? My hope is that someday my children will appreciate the opportunities they’ve had, the places they’ve seen and the people they’ve met. In my mind, life is short and the world is large. We all need to get out and explore it, no matter where we may find ourselves.