A Calcuttan In The Pink City

An ardent moon gazer and a fanatic fish lover wonders while sitting in the aircraft, that, now that she’s finally aboard, her craze for seeing airplanes will probably diminish.

She was wrong. Her hostel is just five kilometers away from Jaipur airport and she still runs out into the terrace like a kid to see a plane touching down or taking off. The horizon is clear, no high-rises, and so no viewing obstructions. The air -traffic (for whatever reasons) is very high in the skies of Jaipur. At the same time, we have witnessed five-six airplanes blinking in the night sky. The winter skies are crystal-clear and tiny, almost invisible jet-planes, only their criss-crossing smoke-tails giving away their presence are abundant.

The first full moon in Jaipur was equally awestrucking. The moon (for whatever reasons again) appears bigger in Jaipur. I was almost taken aback when I first saw the full moon one night from the terrace. I have experienced five full moons in Jaipur since then, each of them being a precious chunk of jewel in the sky.

Now accustomed but initially I almost gave out sudden-shrieks upon coming across the seven-eight foot desert animal – Camels, on the streets, pulling carts. Poor creatures are made to have tattoos on their body. Actually body hair, in specific areas like neck, ankles and humps are cut in such a way, it forms designs giving them a tattooed look. They are used for several purposes, from using their milk for making milk products to generally as livestock, to “The Camel festival” in Bikaner. Am yet to try tea with camel’s milk.

The Pink City was founded back in 1727 by Sawai Maan Singh and it was limited within a boundary, entirely painted in pink. The gates of the boundaries would be closed by seven in the evening and all those within the premises would be safe and all those outside had to remain outside until daybreak when the gates were re-opened.

Four months in Jaipur and I keep receiving calls asking me whether or not I have put on some weight. All my friends and family had high hopes that since I was moving out for the first time, I would surely be able to gain some kilos. I keep disappointing them. The day my family comes to know that I have become healthy, they would formally invite people and treat them. Why just family, even my neighbors would distribute sweets.

Jaipur has several places of historical significance, like, Amer fort, Jaigad Fort, Nahargarh Fort (Ref: where the genuine Prof Hajra was pushed off the hills by the fake Prof Hazra (Kamu Mukherjee) in “Sonar Kella”), The City Palace, Jantar-Mantar and Albert hall.

To be contd….


    On January 31, 2010 at 1:27 AM Anonymous said...

    you seem to be so awed by the new town that instead of 'my musings' this post should fall in the category 'my amusings'. :)

    Maybe its some new kind of freedom that you are experiencing which is finding its expression in the form of an ultra-bright and clear moon. I love it when one sees beyond what just meets the eye. Have you ever felt that when you ponder a lot over things, it starts to get reflective? At one point, do you feel like you are beginning to see more inside yourself than the things outside?

    Like Nietzsche once said "If you gaze for long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.."

    On January 31, 2010 at 9:30 AM Anonymous said...

    When you look at the walls of these dilapidated forts ,take time to observe that sun light falls equally on the walls at different times of the day.There is a constant play of light and shadow.
    Just like the lives of all those who tried to make history.

    I know it may be a bit strange to read this.But the last time when I went to Amer in 1989,I has my palm open facing the sky and moved the same from the shadows of the fort walls and then into sunlight and then back and forth as I looked around me.It gave me a feeling which I still cannot describe,
    yet I have named that feeling "Ozymandias"( You may have read it!!)


    I am so glad that I have such great readers.... Thank you so much for coming back to Speechless and Thank you for sharing your deep insights....
    @Vikas- Waiting for a new post...