Friday, July 25, 2008

the trip

My boss wasn’t happy to grant me leave as she was going on work tour just around the same time. I felt like crying. The daily hurry to work and back was driving me nuts, i badly needed a little time to breathe. Besides, the visit was crucial for other reasons.

She thought it over for two nights. “So, what have you decided?” she finally asked.
“I can’t go if you say ‘no’, and i’m too old to throw a tantrum”, i replied.
“You feel like throwing a tantrum?”
“Okay, go, but next time make sure we’re not away at the same time.”

I could’ve grinned from ear to ear and whooped and jigged. Instead, i demurely thanked her and walked out sedately. But i couldn’t contain my excitement while saying bye to my colleagues.

D received us (hubby & me) at Ajmer station though our train was two hours late. The half hour drive to Pushkar was on winding road through rocky hills. It felt so good to be free of Mumbai heat and jam.

D had booked us a room on the second floor of Lake Palace with spacious balconies overlooking the lake. We could see both sunrise and sunset from there. On one end of the compound was a music school.

The first evening, after bath and refreshments, the music teacher treated us to desh raag and guzzar toda in the music room. Listening to Indian classical live was quite an experience. Then he took us on a walk round the lake, explaining as we went. On the way we passed ruined durbar halls where Shah Jahan had sat in olden times.

Around nine thirty, we came back to the hotel for dinner on the rooftop restaurant. Several locals and firangis were hanging around on the terrace, some strumming guitar and crooning in turns. They greeted the music teacher loudly as we sat down. We asked for a Rajasthani thali but it would take a long time to prepare so we had to settle for an ordinary Indian one.

Next day D took us home. His original house was a chief priest’s haveli on the lake bank. But he gave it away to relatives and now lives in an ashram his father built in a harijan colony when he followed Gandhiji around during the freedom fight. Lovely family. D’s elder daughter had taken leave to cook for us. Sumptuous Rajasthani meal starting with ‘bati’.

Evening we sat on the hotel balcony and listened to live music from the school and dined on the rooftop again. Next morning we had breakfast at D’s old haveli. Malpua sweet was a new delicacy. Then we roamed around the ghats, D telling us old stories about them. Gaughat had been visited by Queen Victoria and other dignitaries. We went into Brahma temple, supposed to be the only one in the world. (The temples of his two wives overlook from the tops of two hills on opposite sides of the town’s outskirts). Our guide lamented that policemen are now guarding the courtyard where in old days rishis used to sit meditating.

We went back to D’s house for lunch. The grown-ups told us that the teen aged grandson and granddaughter had nicknamed me ‘Chinese Aunty’ and liked me because they like Jackie Chan!

Sunday we went to church in Ajmer and then sightseeing. Each of the places we visited could fill a page to describe, so i won’t try it here.

Pushkar is a geographical interest. It has lakes, gardens, and sand dunes within a small area, and is surrounded by hills. It is also rich in temples, myths, history and many other things. It’s getting too long for a blog. I’ll tell you the stories in another form some day.
Sorry, i can't figure out how to put in labels for the pictures. Just guess it!


Calliopia said...

Oh my, you stayed at the Lake Palace?? I'm sooo jealous. I've never been to Rajastan but the tourism dept there make it look and sound like a total don't miss experience, what with the Lake Palace and all.

I like the "too old to throw a tantrum" part. I am too but I throw one occasionally. At home though and definitely not before the boss :)

mesjay said...

calliopia, the visit was really worth it. and it's not terribly expensive either if you stay in the non up-end hotels like we did. service wasn't great but the view was.
guess we're entitled to throwing tantrum at times. but the worst place to do it is in front of our students!

Anonymous said...

Can't believe you holidayed off at LAKE PALACE while we poor weary mortals slogged away at our various desks here in Aizawl...which i bet is a sweltering 30 something degrees as i write this. The look on the camel's face says it all. That camel IS me.

I love, i adore water, and that means lakes, rivers, seas, ocean and those tiny ponds of childhood which is why it's so ironic to find myself in this here landlocked strip of land called Mizoram. Talk about suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune!

And you throwing a tantrum...heh. that would have been too incredibly sweet.

DayDreamBeliever said...

The grown-ups told us that the teen aged grandson and granddaughter had nicknamed me ‘Chinese Aunty’ and liked me because they like Jackie Chan!

LOLzzzzzzzz. Great to hear you had a good time. I've been lucky enough to visit Rajasthan twice, and it's an incredible place. BY the way, ka chunga mi khi the elusive Mizo poet kha ni em? A va han inla vang em em!

mesjay said...

monazo, you might stop loving water if you lived in mumbai this rainy season. i get a drench on my way to and from work, umby or not. that's fine, but having to wade in ankle deep muddy water that overflowed from drains, may be sewers...augh!
any way, come over for some hol in dry season & we can go to the beach. but no, i won't get into the water but will watch you wade & swim.

mesjay said...

daydreambeliever, being a chinky has some advantages sometimes!
btw, ani khi poet kha ni e. mahse a mizia i hre fuh lo mai thei.a inla vang lo teh ania! mi ngil tak, rilru tha lutuk ania. inhria ula chu in inkawmngeih viau maithei. aizawl ka lo zin theih hunah introduce che u ka tum dawn nia.

virgochhas said...

Lake Palace" bet its very expensive...i used to work in that resort (The Oberoi Udaivilas) just opposite to the Taj lake Palace...

Udaipur is the most romantic and beautiful place i've ever been to (not been to many places :D )...ur very lucky to holiday u enjoyed a lot