Stranded French family 'enjoys' lockdown in UP village

Stranded French family 'enjoys' lockdown in UP village

The French family has been staying at Kalhua Dhala (DH Photo)

Toulouse, the capital of France’s southern Occitanie region, has no similarity with Kalhua Dhala, a little known village in Uttar Pradesh's Maharajganj district.

The village, however, has been the temporary abode of French national Pollarez, his wife Virginie, daughters Ophelie and Janniefer, and son Tom for the past over a month.

The passers-by, the locals, as well as the media, have been flocking the small Shiva Temple in the village, where the French family has been staying, to meet them.

Pollarez was not there by choice but by compulsion, at least initially. While driving on way to Nepal from Pakistan, he had arrived there on the day the first lockdown was declared. They were stuck up there since then. They had entered India from the Wagha border.

A month-long stay, however, has changed everything for the French family. They have adapted themselves to the Indian way of life and enjoying the 'desi' food.

Such was their love for the village that the family refused an offer from the district administration to shift to a hotel in Maharajganj town. ''We are enjoying here,'' Pollarez says.

The family takes part in the daily 'worship' at the temple and also sing 'bhajans' (religious songs) though they maintain social distancing.

''We had plans to visit Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia...but now I don't know,'' Pollarez, a mechanic by profession, said. The family has also learned Hindi and some 'desi' words also.

They would leave once the lockdown was lifted. But they would certainly 'miss' the village. ''We have developed good relations with the local residents,'' said Virginie.