Me and my wife live in US with our 8 month old son.I spent my evenings bonding with him. He was a very happy baby here laughing and smiling. He went to India a month ago with his mother. We wanted him to see his relatives and take him to temples for our family rituals. We thought it would take him a couple weeks to adjust to his new surroundings and time zone. He was understandably dull, ate little upon his arrival and got back to playing and eating normally in a couple of weeks. But after that he has become very dull, in a annoyed state of mind and smiles rarely. He lives with my wife in her parents home along with her brother. They try to play with him and take him around. He will back only after 2 months and my wife thinks he is clearly missing me. It is hard for me to see him like that during video calls. Has anyone experienced this?
At 8 months, it's possible your son is going to through his stranger anxiety phase where he will be more reserved around new people. Similarly this is where separation anxiety from his primary caregivers is the highest. Even though your son is with his extended family he may not be comfortable with them yet and still views them as strangers.
The idea is to keep trying to socialize him with new people in small doses. Your son will be looking towards the people he trusts like his mom for how to react.