Letters from my grandfather

Relationship: Im/migrant
Ancestral Home in India
Ancestral Home in India

The photo is of my ancestral home in a small village in India. It was built by my great grandfather when India was still under the control of the British. I joined a boarding school in the 5th grade and would often cry because I missed home. Therefore, my grandfather would write letters to me on a weekly bases. He would often talk about his childhood and memories in that house. He told me about the strong hold of authority and respect for our family his father had built in the small village and which he had to take over when his father passed away, even though he was only about 10 years old. He also told me about the situation in the village when India gained independence and was divided. There is an open kitchen, which is no longer in use, where my family made food and served to the people in need during such times. Till date, our family holds great respect among the villagers and the house has been open to people looking to seek help, which were all my grandfather's doing. Even after his death, the people of the village have always regard the house and people in it with great respect. When I moved to the US, at the age of 18, I carried these letter with me because they were stories of my family's history narrating how we to to where we were in society and the importance of that house, which has remained unchanged since it was built. In honor of my grandfather and his stories, I tattooed 'lots of love' in his handwriting as he always ended his letters with that phrase. 

Place(s): India
Year: 2014

– Qudrat Kunder

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant