> Your hosts
Vijay has been the head of his family since he was
16, after his father Govind Das passed away in
July 2003. Despite the hardship which this
involved, he fulfilled this responsibility with
great devotion, making sure that he completed his
education at the same time. Vijay has five sisters
who are now all married. From looking after his
family from such a young age, Vijay has become a
very caring and respectful person, and always
happy to help others.
After his father's passing Vijay learnt the art of
with his uncle, and since 2003, he has
been running the family
shop, Lakshmana Handicrafts. As well as
leading the Friends in Khajuraho adventure, he
occasionally takes part in social and
envirnonmental actions for the French
association Partage et Culture Sarasvati
and for the German NGO Blue Bank.
Vio (Violette) is French. She first came to India
as a tourist in August 2005, and just about a week
into her travels she met Vijay in Khajuraho. Two
and a half years later she came back to India for
a year. She wanted to spend time in an Indian
family and learn Hindi in immersion, so in January
2008 Vijay welcomed her into his family... She
loved it so much that today she is married to
Vijay and she is a part of the family!
Vio is fluent in English, French and Hindi, and
she understands German. She is a musician, and
since April 2008 she has been learning Hindustani
(north Indian classical) violin from her guru Pt. Sukhdev Prasad Mishra in
Varanasi. For about three years she has been
giving private classes in Hindi as a foreign
language and Indian violin, and acting as
Cultural Delegate in India and Vice-President
for the French association Partage et Culture Sarasvati.
You can visit her website here, and if you
love reading, there is plenty of material about
her Indian adventures on her blog!
Ravi is Vijay's only brother and the youngest of
the seven siblings. He is the most academic of the
family, and during all his school years not only
he was the best pupil of his school, but he also
won awards in the entire disctrict of Khajuraho
and featured in local newspapers for it!
Ravi holds a BSc in Maths as well as certificates
in Hotel Management and in Computing. He has
completed 6 months of German studies at the Goethe
Institute in Kolkata and Delhi, and is still
studying the language on is own in Khajuraho.
Mummy got married to Govind Das when she was about
16, and she gave birth to seven beautiful
children. She is a very devoted and caring mother,
and a very hard worker. Her house is her temple.
She is very faithful to her daily religious
practice and lives very much anchored in the
Indian tradition, yet she has a very pure heart
and in the end she always accepts different people
as they are. Although she doesn't speak English,
she will make sure that you feel at home - through
her devotion to serve you with her caring smile.
Vio and Vijay had a baby daughter in March 2016!
Leela is very cute and peaceful, she only cries
when she's too hungry or tired, and she is more
and more fun as she grows. She loves to play hide
and seek behind a cloth or a blanket, and she
loves to play with everyone's hair! She loves
bathing and playing with water, and she loves
music, singing and dancing! Oh, and she loves
food, too; she likes to taste absolutely
everything! But please don't feed her anything too
sweet, salty or spicy! You can speak to her in
French, English and Hindi and she'll understand
Pullu is Vijay and Vio's nephew. His mum and dad
live in Chitrakoot but he lives here to go to a
better school. He is 12 and studies in Class 5.
Pullu loves to ride his bicycle, to make and
repair things, to use the computer and the
printer. He is very curious, friendly and helpful.
He is currently learning
English with Vio at The
Different School, and he is improving. He
is a bit shy to speak, but it will be great if
you do speak with him in English so that he can
improve further. At home, he also learns violin