Saturday, August 13, 2016
Jaipur, the cultural melange...
“I have meetings to conduct. We cannot plan a trip.”
Me: “Come on Arun, It’s our wedding anniversary. A day or two, what do you reckon?”
Next day, standing in the balcony of a hotel, right in the heart of the city, overwhelmed by pink hued huge architecture of Jaipur, we thought that it is good that we did not compromise on our overnight sojourn experience. We could have, else, missed out the warm and exuberant smile of rosy turbaned coolies at the station!
Grandeur is the city, and so is the hospitality. We breakfasted in Rajdhani and they were impeccable in their hospitality. Warmth exudes from the moment we entered the eatery. Ola cabs came to our rescue, we didn't spend much time bargaining on the cab rates. On a suggestion of a local resident, we started with a visit to Albert Museum, only to realise that the museum might only excite an amateur archeologist. It was majestic, however, we could only partly engage ourselves with the monument. Next, we stopped at Jantar Mantar, the same as one found in the Capital. Apparently, there are five Jantar Mantar monuments in India, of which the largest is in Jaipur.
We were exhausted, still, ever heard of a woman who is not balmed by a retail therapy? Jaipur’s shopping centre “Chaura bazaar” stood wide open inviting everyone with melange of colours. Famous for its Bandini work dupattas and trinkets, you would be cruel if you will not carry back souvenirs back from the market.
It was the day two, which turned out to be a real winner. The cab dropped us at the Amber Fort, beaming with pride for having being featured in the Bollywood saga Jodha Akbar, amongst many others. The fort is majestic, that would be a understatement. There is much more to the fort what meets the eye, what with untold old stories engaged in the walls of the building. What was however, intriguing and heart breaking is the culture confined only within the walls. We saw an old lonesome flute like instrument player, resting against the wall, thriving on the coins often given by the visitors as a token of appreciation.
I realised that we have lost 98% of indigenous music traditions – who cares?, other than few talent shows in which only few manage to exhibit their talent. But back home, I did my part to connect with the forgotten music. When we talk about music closer home, Coke Studio is one of the first things that comes to mind.
I downloaded the app coke studio from play store. With the programme thriving on the indigenous voices, it brought me closer to the unsung heroes. Give it a try if you haven't, having the ease of such music at the click of a finger gives goosebumps.
We were home the next day, only after making a fleeting visit to Hawa Mahal. Sigh! The infrastructure, will take your breath away which you will catch back soon with no dearth of air around coming from windows. It boasts of having a total of 953 windows uniquely carved in the Rajasthani pattern and designs!
Well, aftermath of the visit, my bed had no space to rest.
Room was filled with colourful souvenirs leaving no space :), reminding me of famous lines by
“ Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours;
Let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow.”