They say that the greatest journeys are those that lead you home. For Granny Asha, opening the doors of her ancestral home in Benaras to guests has literally been a journey of coming home to ‘herself’.
Bounce back with Vigour
When most people are counting their days, or fading away into the backdrop of life, Granny Asha (71) is filled with the vigour of a 7 year old as she strides along her home in Benaras taking care of guests, making sure each one is comfortable. “Each day is a new day for me filled with positivity and purpose,”she shares.
Journey of a Lifetime
Having opened the doors of her home to guests 5 years ago, she feels that starting the homestay has indeed been a game-changer in her life at many levels. “I lost my husband at the age of 47. Being a simple graduate and a home-maker all my life, with no working experience whatsoever, I wondered what life had next in store for me.” She shares. The feeling of helplessness often led to bouts of depression, while her son took refuge in alcohol.
Today, running the homestay in Benaras single-handedly (with guidance from her daughter Shilpi Singh and Son-in-law Manish Sinha, Founders of The Unhotel Co. , life has come full circle for Asha. As her name suggests, her life is now full of hope and confidence in herself. “From being dependant on others for the most basic needs, to taking control of my life, running the homestay, along with being the care-giver of a 49year old son, life has come a full circle for me,” she states. She ‘literally’ put on the pants and led The Heritage Walk around Varanasi along with Sahapedia for guests in September this year.
Driven By Purpose
Interacting with travelers from different cities has helped her broaden her perspective about life and it’s purpose. “From a live-in relationship to a gay couple, we have had guests with different personal beliefs. Interacting with them has made me a more compassionate and inclusive person,” she shares. “People often end up sharing their deepest wounds with me over a cup of adrakh wali chai and I cheer them up with my own story after giving them a patient ear,” shares the lady who has been nominated for Outlook Responsible Tourism Award in 2018.
However, it’s not just her understanding of human psychology but also her entrepreneurial skills that come in handy to the visitors. From the best deals for the famous Banarsi sarees to the gullys of local artisans, best time to visit the ghat, her suggestions help the visitors get an authentic experience of Benaras. Granny’s Inn has been listed amongst the Top 5 individually run homestays in India by Outlook. To be a part of the specially curated all-women Banarasiya trip by Unhotel, check out www.unhotel.in/tours/grandmas-home
Nani ka Pyaar aur…kheer!!!
Her fresh, home-cooked food makes sure you don’t miss the comfort of home. While the khichdi with her ‘special accompaniments’ is sure to leave you licking your fingers, those with a sweet tooth are often found digging-in to cups of home-made kheer as they soak-in the love and stories from granny. A sight that is very much lacking in today’s fast paced corporate world!
So, if you want to experience the local flavor of Benaras without compromising on wellness and hygiene, and dollops of love of a Granny almost your own, head to the Granny’s Inn in Varanasi.
To book your stay at Granny’s Inn, click https://bit.ly/2PVcLOo
Here’s Granny Asha’s message to GurgaonMoms
This article has been published in association with Unhotel