We arrive in Mumbai to a blast of heat, a bit startling after the mildness of the Delhi winter. The scale of the city is vast, and so is the traffic, even in the middle of a Sunday afternoon. It is wedding season in India, and on our way from the airport to the hotel we past many plots of open land that have been transformed into elaborate parties that spill out onto the roadways. The legendary contrasts of this sprawling city are everywhere: the swank high rises and car dealerships, side-by-side the crowded shanties of slums and pavement dwellers.
A new Brandeis family, Hemant and Yolanda Paranjape, the parents of Tanay Paranjape ’13 host us for dinner at their home in a Mumbai suburb. We also meet Preeti Nalwa, the mother of Tarini Nalwa ’13; the Talwa family has recently relocated to Mumbai from London. The Paranjape family has a history of support for educational institutions in Mumbai that goes back a century, including establishing the Parle Tilak Vidyalaya School, and we learn a great deal about how one local family has made a multi-generational commitment to serving its community.