Thursday, July 4, 2013

Burning it up in the Pink City!

With rains and God playing havoc with my plans of escaping from hot and humid Delhi and going to cool Mussoorie, the destination of choice for my birthday was Jaipur. Stupid decision? Probably.

For starters, it was hot as hell, though not as humid as Delhi. Rains were predicted but did not come to our rescue during sight-seeing. But enough with the cribbing. There is a certain charm in walking through the forts and palaces of the kings and queens that were, wondering why they had separate bedrooms and imagining how their 'spas' worked.

The biggest surprise though, was the Pink City tag. I mean it's more like Brown city. And worse, freshly painted! I don't know what these guys are doing in the name of conservation, but I'm seriously concerned that the city is just going to be white-washed instead of "preserved". Initially I thought they had painted over with a totally different colour, but turns out that brick colour is supposed to be Pink. Go figure!

I broke out into peals of laughter when our guide showed us "sheesh mahal" in Amer fort. Oh it really exists? Sheesh mehel mein rehne wale blah blah.. my father says :D Did not know it is a real thing! And contrary to imagination, it is not made of glass, but mirrors! Not the whole thing of course. Tiny mirrors are stuck in different formations on the walls and roof of the mehel. Something to do with mirrors acting as reflectors to keep the positive energy (according to guide no 1) and the heat (according to guide at a different touristy spot) in.

Anuj and I also got our fair share of cheesy pictures clicked, in a mirror of the sheesh mehel, through a hexagonal hole in a structure. I really wanted one clicked in the Rani's spa, but then I wondered who would pull me out of the 6-ft deep marble square hole! Hey, I totally forgot the picture clicked in front of a huge photo of City Palace with Anuj wearing a turban and me demurely standing with a dupatta on my head. That pic is a keeper as we both look like something the cat dragged in. And it is photo-framed in a cutout of the City Palace. Phee hee :D

Then of course there was the wild-goose chase for a beaut set of bangles that I had seen in Amer fort. I should have bought them there, I kept thinking to myself as Anuj and I, getting scorched in the sun, walked for what seemed like hours for the 'lac choodi bazaar'. Which, incidentally, didn't even have the bangles I was looking for. Credit goes to Anuj for not just leaving me there and going back to the hotel. The REAL shopping started after that!

So now I've got 2 pairs of earrings, 2 pwetty kurtas, a Maharani skirt, and a mini ghagra choli (to be gifted to my niece) and a whole bunch of happy memories. Not to mention a PhD on Rajas, and why their bedrooms were separate from their Ranis.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pink birdie in the sky!

I just found this post, written over a year ago.. Wonder why I never published it..

Have you noticed, how when someone tells you about something, their excited tone can mask the most dangerous bits of information? For instance,

"Its fun to bunjee jump! Of course, you might get a headache or a heart attack while doing it, but dude, its so much fun to just let go and jump off and see the ground rushing towards you! Awesome feeling man! Out of this world!"
Something similar happened to me.

Dad: "Kite flying is so much of fun! We used to do it ALL the time! We used to have kite flying competitions and it was thrilling to cut someone else's kite and claim it as your own. The string that is used is usually coated with glass and can cut your fingers. Flying kites is so cool! I pity you children, you never had the kind of fun we did."

So there I was, with 10 colourful kites and a huge reel of glass-coated string, waiting to experience what it's like to fly a kite for the first time in my life. Several cuts and bruises later, I would just like to say, gosh Dad, you forgot to stress on the most important part! And that is apart from the strain in your neck from looking up at the kite for hours.

Despite all of that crap though, I must admit it was fun. It was like holding a very high balloon up in the sky, and controlling its movements with a string that appeared not connected to the kite. I was exhilarated when my friend managed to make it fly after several failed attempts. That was before I took the string in my own hands of course. After that I was just praying that the wind doesn't let up, lest I have to indulge in a series of acrobatics that include giving leeway and pulling the string in quick succession till it was up again. With loads of cuts and bruises along the way of course.

Fun fact 2: It's so much of fun to take a hot water bath, or cut chillies and ginger with cut fingers.

So yeah, I'm cursing as hell now, but my friend reminds me of the stupid smile on my face when I was holding the string and staring at my cute pink kite, way up in the sky.. The smile that refused to leave my face despite all the cuts and bruises.