Staying with Binu’s family near Kochi India in the state of Karala – Capturing Grace on a 16 flight, 5 week journey throughout Asia

During mine and Carissa’s flight from Cambodia to India, re-watching The 100-Foot Journey was great preparation for the experience that lie ahead.

The movie is about a family from India who suffers the tragic loss of their mom (and wife) leading the father to move the family from their home in India to Europe. His search for direction without his precious wife leads him to a small town in France to start an Indian restaurant. Cooking had been his wife’s passion and his beloved wife had always said “food is memories”.

What does this possibly have to do with mine and Carissa’s visit to the family of my dear Indian friend Binu Paul? Their are a couple of quotes from the movie that sum up our experience here so beautifully.

Here in India, my favorite morning routine is to walk the dirt road that connects the Paul family to other family members that live along the way. In the southern India state of Karala, one is surrounded by beautiful forested mountains, rubber trees and family. With Binu’s niece and nephew (Aleena and Ashland) at my side, we stroll this little piece of heaven on earth while being greeted by family members and new friends.

The morning chill was removed from my hands by a hot mug of Indian coffee while my heart was warmed by the many kindnesses expressed to this man from America that stood out more than a little.

During our two days together we were fed homemade Indian food for which Karala famous for, treated to a boat ride on the back waters of Alleppey and experienced the most beautiful sunset over the Arabian Sea, all with family. We picked up right where we left off three years ago when I was welcomed into this family.

The quote from the 100-Foot Journey that stuck in my mind was during a moment from the movie when the children began to grumble about their Papa taking them from their home in India, Papa’s response was “home is where the family is”.

That’s the feeling Carissa and I both felt as we were put to bed by those smoothed our sheets, poured our hot Indian baths, greeted us with smiles when we awoke and heaped our plates with the spices of India. I am so grateful for these sweet friends who made us a part of their familly, we sure do feel at home here and yes, “food is memories”.

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