I had to meet the tour guide in the lobby area of the small hotel , and he told me that if i wanted …he could arrange me to have a driver and he would take me to Pune (Poona in the old day ) , i would be able to find where my father had grown up .
The hotels and driver could be organised that day if i wanted . Of course this was my chance to fulfill more of my promise .
I couldn’t believe it …….i was actually going to see the old streets of my fathers childhood .
I was so happy , and it was all to be sorted out that day , all for a very reasonable price .
Nothing was a problem for this guide , he could see what it meant to me and he asked the right people , and got it all sorted out ready for me to go the next morning .
Bags packed , driver picked me up bright and early and off we went , many hours of driving with a few stops on the way , ancient caves with carvings and religious adornments and sacrifices that i had the chance to see , (but i declined as the little goat was far to cute to watch what actually was going to happen to him ).
My driver was very well spoken and was very interested in my story and he was happy to be able to be a part of my journey .
Hours of driving , we arrived in a very large , emerging city named Poona , it once had been home to many British Army families ,
Now home to a very large University , and modern offices ,new companies are now setting up here as they are seeing the potential of this place.
With a small map that i had , i found the streets i needed to get to , we had to ask a local guide to accompany us as he would be able to help us find them .
Driving along we crossed over a large traffic intersection and we then had entered the small town of Khadki ( Kirkee as it was known to my father ), as we were driving along i suddenly saw a church that i recognised …..“Uncle , can we please stop the car ? “
I knew that this church had to be the church that my Grandparents had got married in .
As i got out of the car , i looked over to see two very large locked gates , i was just staring at the church inside , knowing that i had to find a way to get inside.
A few young men were in the nearby gardens and we called out to them , they came over and i explained my situation , he asked me to wait a few minutes .
They came back and unlocked the gates , explaining now that he church was used as a school for study and the house nearby was the residence for the students .
He allowed me to go in , i found myself overwhelmed yet again , and tears were rolling down my face.
i could remember so clearly the wedding photo of my Grandparents that i have at home , yes this was the church .
To be able to stand somewhere where they both had been so happy was a feeling of being proud of all my family , and i wished that my grandmother could have seen me there , standing where she had been.
The Church had been well looked after, and i felt so lucky to have been allowed to visit .
i was so thankful to the young men and they seemed happy to be have a part of my journey on this day .
After we left the church we drove through the nearby streets , one of which was the one where my father grew up , the old bungalow houses were so beautiful , large garden fronts , it was just amazing to see the streets and surroundings .
As we drove around more of the streets , we headed into the area that was used for the army , and there were buildings that My great Uncles had all worked in , ammunition factories , with all the old signage .
As we drove away from the area , i knew that i had been so blessed to be able to find all this wonderful places .
The hotel staff were all very nice and the next morning we headed back to Mumbai , stopping a few times for a coffee, and having very nice l chats with the driver it was nice to hear about his family and what they did .
He was so happy to have been able to help me with my journey and thought that it was a great thing that i had managed to achieve .
The next day i was to fly home to Sydney , so again my lovely driver came to collect me as i had ended up staying at the travel agency office ( they had this lovely small room for clients who were in need of a room and also so that they could take me to the airport ).
I knew that this was not going to be my only visit to India , i was already thinking about where to go next ……..