We Aren’t a Country of Just Snake Charmers

My family was excited. The “cousin” in the household was to wed a beautiful French damsel. The youngster had left the country to pursue his masters in the United States, and seek greener pastures in corporate America. It was here that love blossomed between the two and after a whirlwind courtship they decided to get married. The family in India took it all easy. They were happy that their son had finally decided to “settle” down, and were excited at the prospect of interacting with a family that was not only foreign to them but also spoke a language that

Life Across the Sand Dunes

I wasn’t too happy to do the camel safari on a recent trip to Jaisalmer. It seemed pretty in-human to be mounted on an animal and being dragged around in one of the most difficult terrains- the desert. Before I began my journey to Jaisalmer- the Golden City of India, I was gently advised by a dear friend of mine, who probably knew my eccentricities, that if you are going to the Thar Desert, there is no way you are to miss the camel safari. The Sam sand dunes, an odd 60 kms inland from the Indo-Pak border, are a

What Did I Carry Back From Rajasthan?

During my recent trip to Rajasthan, I realized how important “music” is to them and, the integral part it plays in their culture. Whether it is the somber tones that are emanated from the seventeen-string “Kamaicha”(instrument made out of mango wood and a round resonator, covered in goat leather) or the soulful voices of the local tribes, Rajasthan music will fill your heart with a feeling that cannot be described. As a tourist, I walked on the dusty lanes of Jaisalmer, to be greeted by sounds of music at practically every nook and corner. From the sounds of anklets that

The Ghost Town Of India- Kuldhara, Rajasthan

About 20 odd kilometers from the desert town of Jaisalmer lies Kuldhara. As I took to the dusty road that led to this ancient town of Rajasthan, I noticed the scant presence of humans around. The sun was at its fiery best and an unusual silence prevailed. I reached Kuldhara, eerie and desolate. I had heard it had been abandoned by its people more than 200 years ago.  I spotted a few villagers grazing goats nearby. What really was the story of Kuldhara? For a paltry amount of Rs. 10/- two little boys came up to me to narrate the

What Lies Behind The Station Wall?

Have you ever wondered what lies behind the walls of those small railway stations that we come across on long journeys? As I sit travelling from New Delhi to Jaisalmer by train, I am reminded of  a story- ” Time stops at Shamili” -written by Ruskin Bond, in which he expresses his curiosity about how life would be outside the railway station. My train  traversed through bigger known cities -Alwar, Jaipur, Jodhpur. And some towns I had never really heard off- Marwar Mathanya, Phalodi,Ashapura Gomat… A ghost station it seemed, for not a single vendor I spotted, just a couple of