Yes! You too can hitchhike a camel! Rajastan stories.

Richard happily made his way to New Zealand. We continued our road to the small hilly town of Pushkar, a sacred place for hindu devotees and former hippie paradise. ‘Former’ as now prices went up and the big bazaar street just grew up like mushroom after the rain. Anyway the town still has its charm! The reason why we ended up there is that we got in touch with the music band from Istanbul called Light in Babylon (www.lightinbabylon.com) who needed a cameraman for their videoclip. How lucky that we were so close by and could give a hand!

So Antonio practiced his video-shooting skills and I was the best assistant clicking enter to start the song and being diplomatic with the curious crowd of Indians. We made friends with the band very fast and for three days worked intensively recording on the dessert, in front of the beautiful palace and on the rooftop!

That was actually my first time in the desert so at the end of the day I happily and graciously rolled down from the (only) dune in this rocky beautiful surrounding. This is the outcome of our work:

During our staying in Pushkar we couchsurfed in the hotel which was an interesting experience as well. One day coming back from the shooting we hitchhiked a camel, which basically made our day and fulfilled one more dream! I was so happy that the guys who picked as up did not require a payment (and remained human seeing the white colored people). We enthusiastically shared with them the fruits we had just got in the market!

The day we were suppose to leave a big heavy storm came so we decided to visit for the first time a local Gurudwara, the Sikh temple. It was late and we could not stay for the night so we agreed to spend the night in a guesthouse and meet the day after at 8 o’clock in order to help cooking. Wuah that was a big ciapati making lesson. In Polish one would say that we were dropped into deep water. Got tools in our hands and no explanation. In 2 hours we were ciapati experts. I still wonder how many kg of flour they used.

After Pushkar we proceed to Jaipur which was big, noisy, rainy and stresfull. Not many good memories from the first days, but there is always sun after the rain. We got an answer from the a local CSer, Vikram who could give us a room on the roof in the very local part of the town. It was extremely nice to live on the roof, observe sunsets, do exercises on the matts, have fruit salads every morning and socialize with our new friend, Vikram, who is actually coming to Gdansk very soon!

At the end of our Rajastan exploration we ended up in the tiny town with a giant incredible fortress. Amber. There we saw a close-up of the farmer’s live. Non english speaking couchsurfers gave us a room in the direct neighborhood of a buffalos’ shelter. The multigenerational family seemed to be indifferent towards us, it allowed us to watch carefully their dailylife.

Women seem to work the whole day, cleaning, taking care of numerous kids, animals, cooking, forming the bioenergetic material from their excretions. They talk all the time, their voice has well trained higher pitch so no outside noise can disturb them, there is no privacy at home, people are used to be among other members, life is very simple, I guess it makes them happy. I haven’t noticed a single book nor a kid toy. From time to time monkeys can enter the house and steal few objects unnoticeable (Antonio knows it the best).

I learned a lot about the block-printing technique (from the factory close by) as well as about henna art. We decided to stay longer and join the wedding party of someone’s friend. I couldn’t help myself from going with the local women to the bigger city so they can beautify me with the local kurta, leggings, hand henna and make up. It nearly drove me crazy 🙂

The concept of Indian marriage is really far from the one we know in Europe. First of all it is arranged by parents according to the financial situation of the family, caste etc. The bride very often doesn’t see her life partner till the very last moment and the women’s family pay for the huge ceremony (around 2-3 thousands guests). Such financial burden is one of the reasons why nowadays in India it is forbidden for pregnant women to foresee through ultrasound the sex of the new coming infant. It caused too many abortions (the sex ratio from 2012: 940 women for 1000men).

The celebration was peculiar in its own style, we could not stop thinking that all these guests just got there to satisfy their stomachs and that we were more of the crucial point of the night than anyone else, how strange. Enriched by the experience we continued to Delhi, Varanasi and up to Dheradun where we lived like the monks learning the ancient buddhist meditation technique called Vipassana….

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One comment

  1. Beautiful post A&A !! Love that you hitchhiked a camel and went to a wedding and also of course that you did vipassana. Be well 🙂 🙂 -Tom

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