Ravi is the youngest of 7 siblings, 5 sisters and 2 brothers. The most academic of all, he holds a BSc in Maths and certificates in Hotel Management and in Computing. He has also studied German at the Goethe Institute in Kolkata and Delhi up to level B1, and he worked for a travel agency in Delhi for 2 years.
As well as running this homestay, Ravi has founded his own travel agency, Friends in India, and he gives literacy classes in a small village near Khajuraho, Tikri.
Mummy 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.
The 5 sisters
Ravi has 5 sisters, who are all married with children. They live in their husbands’ families in various villages or cities of Madhya Pradesh, a few hours away from Khajuraho.
They regularly come for visit with their children, so you may well meet one of them when you come to stay with us.
The founders of Friends in Khajuraho, who are still here in heart and thoughts:
Vijay, Ravi’s elder brother, became the head of family at the age of 16, after his father passed away in 2003. Despite the hardship this involved, he fulfilled this responsibility with great devotion, making sure that he completed his education at the same time. After his father’s passing Vijay learnt the art of nakashi with his uncle, and from 2003 he ran the family shop, Lakshmana Handicrafts.
Vijay moved to France in March 2020.
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 in 2011 she married Vijay and became part of the family!
Vio spent 11 years in India in total, before moving back to France. While in India, she studied Hindi and Indian violin in Varanasi, and she worked for various NGOs including Taaro ke Bacche and Partage et Culture Sarasvati. In Khajuraho and Varanasi, the taught English, Indian violin, and Hindi to foreigners.