Vijay has been the head of his family since he was 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. 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 nakashi with his uncle, and since 2003 he has been managing the family shop, Lakshmana Handicrafts. As well as running this homestay, he works as a social worker and literacy teacher for a Norwegian association.
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. She teaches English, Hindi and Hindustani violin, and she is Responsible for Media Communication for the Indo-Swiss association Taaro ke Bacche.
Leela is Vijay and Vio’s 3-year-old daughter. She is happy, peaceful and very social! She always asks for new people’s names and she won’t need too long to get used to you. She loves music, singing and dancing; she does some pretty cool moves for her young age and she can name many instruments! She loves tasting different foods but she will eat depending on her mood, well… except for chocolate – she is quite crazy for chocolate! Her other favourite foods are mangoes, peanuts and cauliflower.
She is quite adventurous, she loves walking and trying things for herself, and she is always happy when on the move or travelling… She speaks French, Hindi and some English.
Ravi is Vijay’s brother. He is very academic, and during all his school years not only he was the best pupil of his school, but he also won awards in the entire district 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 he is currently working for a tour company in Delhi. He regularly comes back for visits in Khajuraho.
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.
Pullu is Vijay and Vio’s 13-year-old nephew. His mum and dad live in Chitrakoot but he lives here to go to a better school. 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. It will be great if you speak with him in English so that he can improve further.