Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Jaipur - The Conclusion

On the flight back home, none of us felt the sadness that we usually feel when our holiday ends - neither me nor Tanvi nor Sathya. We all felt this just once before after the Chennai trip. We had been through this rare feeling of not missing the place or the holiday when we had returned from Chennai.  And now it happened after the Jaipur trip. 

Did it have to do with the hot weather of Jaipur? Well, Hyderabad was hot, hot, hot too. But when our Hyderabad vacation ended, we were in tears. We literally dragged our bodies back home. We loved Hyderabad.

So what was it with Jaipur and Chennai? Why didn’t we cry hoarse that now we had to return to normal life, the daily grind and routine? That our short, 5 day vacation, sudden and unplanned had ended? Food? It could be the reason. Weather was definitely another. Most importantly though was the noise in Jaipur. The men seem to place their hands on the horn as soon as they exit the gates of their houses in the morning and do not, mind you, do not remove it until they reach the gates of their houses in the evening. Those darned fingers are pressed tight to their horns. The honking does not stop. No sir! This crazy city is far from romantic. Itna zyada honking - unbelievable sound levels. 

Nevertheless, here are a few things that will stay with me when I think of the city of Jaipur. 

The row of shops with their names written on the walls. I had never seen this method of naming in any other city yet. And I  found it quite unique.
The flavors of Rajasthan at just rupees fifty for 300 grams!

The street outside Sisodia Rani Bagh - the Jaipur Bikaner Road
The Monster Paapad. Can't remember if it was priced at Rs 5 or Rs 10 only that it was really cheap.
The block printing work on the fabric in progress right outside the Gram Udyog premises
We bought two skirts here - one for me and one for Tanvi. The treatment the customer gets here is something you have to see for yourself. It's really hard to say 'no' to the persistent staff. When you use the last resort and say, "Not enough money", they immediately say, "No problem. Pay whatever little you can now, write your address and we will mail the product to you. You can pay later." We used that option just to see how the whole thing works and true to word, the delivery arrived right on time.
Below is the place where numerous movies have been shot showing the hero and heroine runring across the street, with the pigeons leaping into the sky. I wanted a shot of the pigeons in flight but they were all too busy eating. This is right in front of the Albert Hall Museum. 
You must visit Albert Hall if you are interested in history. It is the oldest museum of the state (was opened in 1887) and houses a wonderful collection of paintings, artifacts, monuments, ivory carvings, crystal works, metal sculptures and all things used and sourced by the kings back in the days. 
We didn't use any tour package to explore Jaipur. Like all our family trips, it was a self-exploration. We had made a list of places not to be missed and added a few after we went there. Sisodia Rani Bagh was one such last minute addition. We are glad we saw this beautiful residence of the Queen.

It is very well maintained and has few visitors. So it's a welcome patch of green, of peace and quiet in  an otherwise noisy city. 
Birla Mandir is another tranquil spot. The pure white, marble structure is beautiful in its simplicity. The Birla Mandir is present in many other cities as well like Delhi, Bhopal and Hyderabad, all of them built by the Birla business family. So if you have been to any of the other places, and don't have enough time, you can skip this one. 
The iconic Hawa Mahal. The stretch of road on which it stands is a very busy, crowded one today. Built in 1799 in red stone, it was meant for the queens and other ladies to watch the street processions and to escape the prying eyes of the public. It is supposed to have 950 windows!