Just in case you are beginning to think that everyone here is living in shabby country farmhouses – here are a few pictures of some of the more modern houses we have been to in the last couple of weeks. All the people who own these houses have lived and worked abroad in wealthier countries like the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Holland, Germany etc. Many of their family members still live abroad and send money back here regularly. Some, like Bharti’s father, are retired people who spend 6 – 8 months in India and return to the UK for the summer.
All of these houses seem to follow a similar style of ostentatious proportions regardless of their location. They really stick out in some small villages, towering over other people’s more traditional homes. They are often painted very bright colours and inside everything is marble – the floors, skirtings, stairs, balconies and most of the kitchen. Compared to the older homes, creature comforts are everywhere: flushing toilets, showers, satellite tv, running water and sinks etc. Some people have also brought home the idea of having a garden with rose bushes and a lawn but this is very hard work to maintain. More successful is the small-holding attached to most of these homes, usually packed with fruit trees, various vegetables and sometimes, animals. In my experience there is always at least one person hired to help around the house and possibly one other to maintain the garden. Not a bad lifestyle for someone who probably spent their life running a small shop in Coventry!