My parents immigrated to America from a small city in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Located on the banks of the river Ghaghra and east of the state capital Lucknow, Faizabad is a significant part of my family history.
Visiting my parent’s hometown was always an adventure for my brother and me. Faizabad is a small city with a close-knit community that has its own charm. Every time I go to Chowk (the central market) with my mom, she sees someone she knows even after so many years. The population is around 165,000 people, with the majority being Hindus and Muslims.
Gulab Bari translates to “garden of roses” and is home to the tomb of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daula, who ruled in the 1700s. I had the opportunity to visit this historical monument on one of my trips. Surrounding the sides of water fountains, Gulab Bari has a beautiful collection of various colored roses. It was a place of worship and gathering for religious functions during the nawab’s reign.
Well connected by rail and road, locals can easily travel by train to Lucknow, Delhi, and other cities in Northern India. The Faizabad airport is currently a government airstrip, and there are plans to develop it into a domestic airport. Both the small and big changes are what I look forward to on my next visit.
In America, we didn’t grow up with cousins/aunts/uncles around us. It was always just us and our parents, waiting for the next opportunity to see the rest of our family. I am grateful for the chances I got to see the culture that is part of my identity.