Monday, April 02, 2007
Rajasthan on my mind
Don't know if it was the last post I did (on the movie Dor), the amazing dance troupe of Gulabi Sapera (aka the Gypsy Queen of Rajasthan) that we saw live in New York over the weekend or the New York Times travel article that offered guidance on how to see India in under two weeks with the advice to 'skip Rajasthan'. Or maybe it was a combination of all of these things and I just needed an excuse to share some great music that found it's way to me...
Yes, Rajasthan is one of India's most popular tourist destinations (for Indians & non-Indians alike) but suggesting one should skip it because it has become too touristy is just plain silly. It reminded me of when U2's 'Joshua Tree' came out and propelled them to the legendary status that they enjoy now. A friend of mine told me that he was no longer a U2 fan because they had sold out and were now popular. Pardon? Things become popular with people because they are good and are worth visiting (or listening to, etc.) and shouldn't be shunned just because you are now not the only one to appreciate them.
The pictures you see are from our visit to the city of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. This city is literally in the middle of nowhere and takes eight hours via train to reach from the closest rail link - air travel is not an option due to security concerns over it's proximity with the Pakistan border. But if you go there you will be amply rewarded as it is akin to stepping back in time, 'Lord of the Rings' style. One quarter of the population lives in a 13th century fort (the city's centerpiece) that is now home to several inns as well which fill up rather quickly I might add. The picture below is the view from our room in the fort itself. If you do go to India take the time to visit this city, it is something you will not soon forget.
The two songs from today are inspired by Rajasthan - one is from a Bollywood movie (Bhawander) and one is a classical piece. Abto Jagna and Rajasthani Instrumental are both rich in their melodies and make me miss the mythical 'Land of the Kings' that much more.