pindnanajiLoveleen spent her childhood, until the age of 13,  growing up in India. She lived mostly in a small town in the state of Punjab called Mansa, near Bathinda. But when she talks about her childhood, it’s another place that captures her heart. She calls this place Pind – the home of her mother’s family in a small farming village in the state of Haryana, near Kaithal.

The word pind is a Punjabi term for village and I’m sure it has many special meanings for many different people. It’s no secret what makes Loveleen come alive – it’s when she recollects about her magical days spent in Pind.

Sometimes it’s the way the rain used to fall outside at night, and how she always slept by the window so she could feel the drops blow her way. Sometimes it’s the tree in the courtyard, or walking to the farm to pick guavas and pomegranates. When Loveleen talks about how everyone used to sleep on the roof together on manjas and tell stories, or about how they used to play, or take baths under the water pump on the farm, or all the little details of the ornate brick work, it’s clear that she is tapping into a slice of Heaven that she experienced in childhood that may forever be impossible to top.

pindauntie1Several days ago, we arrived again in Pind. This is my third time here and though much has changed since she was a child, it’s not hard to imagine what her childhood must have been like. Being here comes with it a happy, nurturing feeling of belonging and love and connection.

Her family embodies hospitality in a way that is pretty unmatchable. They will not, under any circumstances, let us help with anything, which is sweet and very unfair at the same time. Their lives in many ways are ideal. They eat the purest and freshest of farm grown foods. They have their own buffalos and with the milk make curd and butter and lassi and ghee.  Both their electricity and stove run off biogas made from the buffalos’ waste. pindnavpreetLife is close to a complete circle here. The work has always been very hard, but perhaps now that they have had a taste of life’s possibilities, the weight of the work and its simplicity are beginning to lose their appeal. Now they dream of life in America.

I think it’s in our natures to always want more and I can’t blame them for wanting to give this up. Perhaps, along with the mad rush for more comes the risk of losing site of one of life’s precious secrets – the closer we’re connected to the circle, the more magical and priceless our lives are bound to be.

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