About Nagpur

I think it was the third time I flew to India, I was about to step on the plane when the woman checking boarding passes (who worked for Air India) asked if Nagpur was in India. I think she had to check that everyone on the flight had a valid Indian visa if India was their final destination. Nagpur is rarely in the news and I guess it is kind of small. Many people I know have never heard of the place. Seeing as I write about my life in Nagpur, I think it’s about time I dedicated a post to the orange city, so you can become better acquainted.

city of orangesNagpur is the geographical center of India, it’s smack bang in the middle, and famous for it’s sweet oranges and extreme summers. The biggest disadvantage of living in Nagpur (in my mind) is the debilitating heat from April to June. Whenever I mention Nagpur to anyone who does know the place, this is what they usually bring up… the sweltering temperatures!

I have heard Nagpur be described as a city sized village on several occasions. I guess there must be a bit of truth to it, McDonald’s hasn’t descended yet, it’s pretty quiet and everyone seems to know each other. The majority of women wear a saree everyday, most people prefer to buy food from the market over the supermarket and foreigners are a rare sight. I assume Nagpur hasn’t changed very much in the last couple of years, which I find charming (and, sometimes frustrating).

vegetable wallah

lotus lake inspiration

horse-on-its-way-to-a-wedding

There are not many obvious tourist attractions here, but the city is very green, has several lakes and hundreds of beautiful temples to discover. If I wake up early and take a walk, I see ladies drawing rangoli on freshly washed doorsteps, cows being milked and children holding hands as they walk to school. There is a strong feeling of community, the entire city comes out to celebrate festivals together, it feels like everyone gets involved.

funny ganesh

Nagpur Ganesh

Due to the central location of the city, there are people settled here from across India, so there are many cultures, many festivals and many tongues. Most people speak Marathi, even if their roots are in another state. It wasn’t long until I started to recognise the different districts. The British built government building of Civil lines, the artisan workshops of Chitaroli, the bustling market of Birdi and the jungles of Seminary Hills.

If you step out of the city, you are greeted by rural Maharashtra; bullocks pulling ploughs, orange groves and jungles where tigers dwell. Nagpur is also known as the tiger capital of India, there are a couple of beautiful nature reserves close by, where we were lucky enough to see a tiger along with many other beautiful creatures.

This is my home, a small city with a lot of sunshine.

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Moving to Our Own Apartment

After over a year of living in a joint family, we’re moving out. I came to India fully prepared to live out the rest of my days sharing a home with my in-laws, but it seems I was too optimistic. The things I thought would get easier, got worse as my need for personal space and a sense of control grew. People warned me that joint family living is hard, no matter how lovely your in-laws are. I carried on without taking much notice, assuming it would be different for me, and I could make it work. I was going to be with my husband and that’s all that mattered, right?

Wrong.

I have found joint family life extremely hard, this way of life doesn’t suit me. I came to India to be with the man I love, not to be a perfect Indian daughter-in-law. I gladly embraced many of the  traditions and customs, but I’m just not cut out to do this 24/7, I want to be able to spend some alone time with my husband without moaning about how isolated I feel.

As a couple, we need our own space and I need to feel at home in India, at the moment I still feel like a lodger in someone else’s house. Unfortunately, I’m not built for joint family life. We all feel this is the best move for us as a family. I’m not against maybe returning to joint family life at some point in the future, but we are newly weds who jumped straight into marriage. We haven’t experienced time alone yet.

I hope that having our own space will improve my relationship with my new family and just give us all the breathing space we all need! Proximity breeds contempt, living in a joint family has taught me that. I feel certain that a little bit of distance (less than 1km) will nurture my relationship with my new family as I am absolutely determined for it to blossom!

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I’m flying home to India tomorrow…

Six weeks have flown by so fast and I cannot believe it’s time for me to leave England! Tomorrow in India, it won’t just be me flying in the sky, it’s Makar Sankranti which is a Hindu harvest festival celebrated by flying pretty kites! You can read about my experience of the festival last year, here!

I’ve had a wonderful time celebrating Christmas and seeing family and friends across the south of England. I’m just so grateful to everyone who made an effort to see me whilst I’ve been back, love you all! I am going to miss everyone, especially my Mummy but I know that I’ll be back soon (hopefully with my husband next time!).

So, as I check I have everything packed and wait until it’s time to leave for the airport, I feel really blessed that I could come back to England for these six weeks. Not only have I had the opportunity to see the people I love, I have been able to take a step back from life in India to process the past year with its ups and downs.

See you in India!

P.S. I have several more posts about my time in England coming soon, I cannot wait to share them with you!

How it Feels to be an English Wife Living with my Indian Inlaws

If I had married an Englishman and then went to live with my inlaws, people would think it was pretty absurd and assume we had financial difficulties. They would probably ask, ‘when are you guys getting your own place?’ or … Continue reading