From the abode of Shiva, Kedarnath

Dear Kabir,

It’s been more than a week that I came back from Kedarnath, Shiva’s abode in mountains. People there said it took them 6-7 hours to reach the temple. I thought it will take me 10 hours, but it was a difficult trek, Kabi. I took good 11-12 hours of time. I gave up a few kilometers before reaching the top. My lungs gave up! My chest got choked and I was not able to breathe. I got scared. For a moment I thought I will not reach anywhere, I will neither reach the top, nor I will be able to descend. I sat there on the bench with my heart pumping as high as it could, tears rolling down my cheeks. I wanted to reach the top as quickly as I could because I heard that aarti takes place in the evening and it is very beautiful. Before reaching the top let me walk you through the trek.

River Mandakini at Gaurikund

We got a room at Gaurikund, the starting point of the trek for Kedarnath. Gaurikund is an enclosed town, covered with houses converted to guest houses and little shops to cater to your daily needs. We got a small room on the first floor by the riverside. The night was quiet with the sound of the river and some pilgrimages passing by and chatting. I could not sleep for a long time and then don’t know when I would have dozed off. I woke up a little late than the decided time but got ready on time. The outside view was beautiful! The sound of river Mandakini flowing, the crescent moon shining above the mountains right under the azure sky, like a beautiful lady standing with her head covered with blue dupatta and has put a bindi in the shape of a crescent moon, like a Maratha lady, and singing a morning raga. Birds too were enjoying the music. I stood in the balcony enchanted by the simple yet mesmerizing beauty of the mountains. Mountains remind me of you, Kabi, of your strength and resilient nature. I know you would be laughing reading this. You always chuck it off as a joke, but I have seen that in your eyes. See, mountains always drift me towards you. Coming back to the mountains again.

One of the little food stalls on the way

So, we started our trek and I think I got huffed and puffed in one kilometer only. *hiding my face in palms* I don’t know Kabi if it was the place or what, but I could feel a different kind of energy from the beginning of the trek. Something that stirs your soul or makes a connection with it. The starting was not sunlit and in front was Mount Kedar shining golden under the November sun. It looked very small initially and with every passing step, it kept getting bigger and bigger. There are many stalls on the way where one can stop, rest, and satiate their hunger. You know that I like tea in mountains. More than drinking tea I think I like the idea of holding the warm cup in cold hands. Aah! What a soothing feeling it is, Kabi. Oh, and they serve all kinds of paranthas. Not like regular paranthas we eat at home. Huge paranthas! I could only eat half of it. Uff! Food also drifts me away from the main topic. In terms of food, I consider myself a proper Punjabi. *grinning*. So, coming back to the mountains again. 😊

There comes a place called Rambara, after which the climb is very steep. And, as you keep climbing taking little steps, you reach a point from where the sun starts shining on you. Looking at the sun, I stopped, stood facing towards the sun, and took a deep breath. No, it didn’t help me with walking as I expected but it was peaceful. I almost forgot to tell you, the tin roof of these eateries is painted mostly in red, green and blue color and it looks beautiful when sun rays fall on them from behind the mountains on the opposite side. It’s a beautiful feeling to be in the mountains with the right company. There was this guy on the way, a tall guy traveling with a very small backpack, the entire way he was playing little drum and chanting “har har mahadev”, he seemed to be happy high. We also befriended two guys from Delhi. The journey got more fun loving and interesting along with their company. I told you initially how difficult this trek was for me. So, chucking out the details of reaching the top, let me now show you the magical evening at Kedarnath.

We reached Kedarnath, right before the sunset and the evening aarti. As one enters the Kedarnath complex, 500 meters before the temple is the Helipad, it looks nothing less than a foreign place. There was nothing spiritual about it apart from looking at the yellow helicopter from close, against the brown backdrop of mountains under the blue sky and the wind being produced by it. While people stood there watching it, I passed it just with a glimpse but stood frozen after a few steps. Right at the footsteps of Kedarnath, we were welcomed with the setting sun, its hues falling on the tip of Mt. Kedar and making it appear red. The same tip that glowed golden under the afternoon sun. We reached a day before Chhoti Diwali and the temple was being decorated for it with yellow and orange marigold flowers. As the sun descended, the temple stood amidst the mountains, lit with lights that kept changing colors; purple, pink, yellow, red. It was magical, Kabi, beyond words. I was grateful that I could reach the top right on time and witness this beautiful scene. It was time for aarti now. I did not know much about how aarti is performed. So, taking advantage of my short height and cute puppy face, I bent down and sat in the front row, right in front of the temple kapaat (door), with pandit ji (main priest) in front of me, doing pooja and people chanting “har har mahadev” from behind me. I had never felt like this before. I was happy from inside. Like a little girl, I stood in its awe, running from here to there, excited to know what is going to happen next. There were two Aghori babas sitting on the right side of the temple, I loved the energy of the one sitting on the left. He was a savage baba! I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this about any baba. He was witty! That night, I slumbered in the spine-chilling temperature of -4 degrees. Well, I think survived would be a better word to use here. The morning was beautiful, again because the mountains obviously and the aura of the place.

Strangely, there is no network at the start of the trek and as you reach the top, you are welcomed with a Wi-Fi zone. I didn’t like it much though. *raised eyebrows* I was reminded of Sean Penn’s dialogue from “The secret life of Walter Mitty”, “If I like a moment, I mean; me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it, right there.” And, I stood there in that moment, taking in everything, the sun rays, Mt. Kedar, temple, Shiva, blue sky, leaving a piece of my heart there in the abode of Shiva.

Lovingly only yours

Zafu

Portrait of a Poetry

All those broken pieces that she bore in her heart formed the “mosaic of feelings”. A chaos in her mind needed to be fathomed while she learned to weather the storm that life has thrown her into. Amidst the tumultuous waves of broken promises, she bore sunshine in the core of her heart. She keeps her fears behind her smile. She ties the flower of hope in her braid. There’s magic in her touch that knows how to heal a broken soul, mending her own shattered dreams. The sun in her eyes glitters the courage she holds in her little heart. Her strength lies in the goodness that she gives out with full joy. She finds solace in the pages of her books. She sees everything around her as a piece of art. The poetry that she reads, the stories that she make or the pictures that she clicks are the way for her to connect to emotions. She smiles and say give me more, I’ve faith in thy. With all the hope, love, affection, peace and compassion that she carries in her, she is nothing less than a “portrait of poetry!”.

My Delhi!

Come, hold my hand
Let me take you through the rise of my morning
Where this world be our theater and Sun our spectator
You’ll be the music and I’ll sit upon your lips as a morning song
Together, we’ll create our happy mornings forever.

Come, hold my hand
Let me take you through the strings of my golden afternoon
Where we’ll amble in Lutyens Delhi,
gazing at colonial architecture from the times of British Empire
We’ll then rest in green oasis of Lodhi Garden, under the yellow laburnums
Escaping the gridlocked delirium of the city
Together, we’ll weave our afternoons in golden memories.

Come, hold my hand
Let me take you through the orange hues of my evening
We’ll walk on the charcoaled roads of Connaught Place, heart of Delhi
We’ll then take a stroll along the Shahjahan’s walled city
Savor the scrumptious delicacies in the alleys of Chandni Chowk,
When sun will be leaving, and minarets of Jama Maszid will have lit,
We’ll sink in the echoes of Azaan, dominating the surrounding noise.
Together, we’ll make our evening blissful and beautiful

Come, hold my hand
Let me take you through my favorite part of the day
We’ll stand near the window and behold the moon
We’ll tune into radio and listen to late night romance
We’ll dance to old numbers and do some jazz
You can read me the English translations of Rabindranath Tagore
I’ll read you verses of Amrita Pritam and Gulzar
Together, we’ll make our nights soulful.

Together, we’ll make our togetherness purposeful!

Us!

My soul met your soul
As poet discern words for his poem
We met like torn pieces of our past
For the happiness that will forever last
The long evening walks, and purple haze
Orange hues of sunset, and your gaze
Warm hugs on winter nights
The prolonged kiss till the twilight
Soft smile of your eyes beneath your glasses
We were different than masses
Our stars were meant to meet
And become a galaxy
Our hearts were meant to meet
To become the Universe!

August Rain!

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Regular office day (not near a window) seems mundane!

It’s 12’o noon and a regular day at office. Half day is passed by and few hours are left to finish her day at office. She takes her beautifully painted magenta colored coffee mug by India circus, in her hands. The warmth of the cup relieves her from chilling office cubicle. Rain pours down from the sky, and mist covers the window by her seat as she sips her favorite rose green tea. She isn’t fond of green tea but she isn’t fond of masala tea or coffee either.

She looks out of the window from the 12th floor of her office building. She sees a man running in the rain. She sees a bunch of colleagues going to the famous sutta corner of cyber hub. She sees a sari clad girl walking slow, taking each step carefully and protecting her saree from getting spoiled in rain. Soon her mind wanders in her own world and she is drifted to her thoughts.

Thoughts that come rushing to her every now and then. Though she works in a big MNC and she is always surrounded by lot of people around her but she still feels lonely. She escapes from eyes of her colleagues and start scribing something in her notebook. No one knows her habit of scribing. No one ever noticed. At least she thought so. Unaware of the fact that there is always someone watching you and admiring you for who you are.

She keeps her mug down and picks up her pen. She is fond of pens. Those fancy pens that flow as smooth as butter on paper. Every time she visits a stationary shop, she admire at the shine of those fancy pens but their price leave her crestfallen. The one she is holding is a regular smooth flow ball pen. She likes it too but someday she wish to buy one of those fancy pens.

She stares at blank paper of her thin spiral notepad, the one that employees get at office and a check on count of it for an employee is kept. She stares at the blank paper for a long time, the noise, the people, and everything around her has come to a standstill for her and she starts writing something on it. There are no thoughts in her mind just her pen and pain; and she starts scribing whatever comes to her mind. Most of the times her writing comes that way. It just come from nowhere and makes a perfect sense to her, describing her solace.

She leans down and keeps her head on her left hand on which she is wearing her father’s Fossil watch that has her father’s initials inscribed on it. She is a watch lover too. No, she doesn’t like fancy watches but she is fond of simple watches made by watchmakers. She wishes to wear world’s best watchmakers’ watches on her hand. She watches her hand flowing on the paper and writing words. The curves of words gives her immense pleasure. These words and curves belong to her, she thinks. Her love for writing is from her childhood days that started from first poem which she wrote for her mother. She had a flair for creating verses but travelling made her a story teller. She now enjoys creating and writing stories. She tries to find stories in every moment, in every person she meets.

When she is wrapped in the blanket of her thoughts and spilling out words from her mind, there’s a guy sitting right across her seat and watching her. He is a shy guy from a different state with a different language but the same fire for travelling is burning in his heart as hers. He doesn’t know if she too is fond of travelling but he is swayed by her simplicity, her cotton kurtas and bindi that sticks between her bushy raw eyebrows.

Watch this section to know what unfolds in their lives.

My acquaintance with the language of Csoma!

Well, I wonder how many of you can understand the title of my post. 🙂 Frankly speaking, few months ago I could not have pronounced this name ‘Csoma’ properly lest know him. This is the magic of learning a new language. This post is about my journey of learning Hungarian language and the way it changed me a little, little by little.

download (1)I had no reasons to join this language course except for the fact that I was free and so was this course. Hell yeah! Sounds weird? Of course in today’s time a free language course sounds fishy. Why would they do that? Don’t they have enough students to learn their language? Or maybe nobody wants to learn Hungarian. Questions like this were banging in my head when a friend of mine helped me in getting enrolled for the course. My stars can’t thank him enough for this gesture of him. I hope he reads this. 🙂 Okay, so my first class which happened after around five days of the commencement of the course. Sigh! I hope you understand the pain of missing a language class, that too the elementary part, like missing Ka,Kha,Ga of Hindi class.  Chuck! I was trying to be funny. Okay, so coming back to my first class, as I entered the class, I was shocked to see around hundred students (of all age group). Like students more than my father’s age. I liked it instantly. Prior to this, and I must admit that to my reluctance, my father and I learned Italian together. He somehow couldn’t give his exam but this made me know him better and his zeal for learning something new along with his struggles of remembering things. Anyway, coming back to the first class again (I have this habit of deviating from main topic) 😛 So, amidst all the students who were attending class from first day, I found myself lost in the pronunciation of the ‘magyar ábécé’ (Hungarian ABC). After that I wasn’t very regular with the classes but I kept trying learning it, missing some part, and then again picking it up from the next lesson. I didn’t made much friends at that time, I didn’t talk to anybody much. I came, attended the class, and went home. I don’t know that even after all this irregularity what kept me glued to this class.

imagesSo apart from my irregularities of classes, I was always regular at least with the events organized by Hungarian Cultural Centre. I hope the cultural people don’t read it. hiding face in palms I love exploring places, meeting new people, knowing about their culture. So attending events was like satiating my soul by knowing about their culture through powerpoint presentations, their music, songs and dance. And then of course snacks followed by events was like ‘icing on the cake’. Food makes a Punjabi happy! 😀  I have been to many events organized by various embassies but I found people here at this embassy very grounded and humble. Always smiling, talking to everybody, clicking pictures together and yes how can I forget mentioning Mr.Wilhelm’s (the director) wife preparing finger licking Hungarian delicacies for us. I mean who does that?

Okay, so this went on for two months and after that I didn’t attend a single class for around one and a half month. I messaged our professor that because of my father’s health I will not be able to attend the classes for some time. Meanwhile lot of things happened at cultural center. The venue for class got shifted, the cultural center shifted to the embassy.

downloadWhen everything got settled at my home, I rejoined the classes. Everything was changed this time. From hundred students to just fifteen were left. Now, I started talking to fellow students. They helped me in coping up with the syllabus. Tanár (teacher) helped me in understanding the lessons that I missed. Events were not happening much but this time I became almost (I was still missing some classes) regular with the classes. I now knew what kept me glued to this course and not leave it in between. It was because of our professor Ms.Margit Köves. Her patience and sweetness encouraged me to keep attending the classes. Wondering how? Well, as I said that I wasn’t regular with the classes so I didn’t know much of the things in the class but then she was always patient and never scolded me for not knowing the things. This motivated me to put more efforts to understand the things. She is from Hungary. No, I absolutely didn’t want to point out that she is not an Indian teacher. winks 😀 You got my point right! Right?

I also want to mention names of few fellow students whom I grew fond of and will miss them. Ramesh ji, legöregebb student of our class, he always reminded me of my father and our times together in Italian class. Gopal Ji, legvidámabb (most cheerful) student of our class who always made us laugh with his wittiness. Inderjeet,  úriember (gentleman) of all students who always made efforts to arrange food. wide smile Food makes me happy! Anjali, legfiatalabb (youngest) student of our class. She is also a student of Italian at Delhi University. Aman, a sportember(sportsman) who was always keen on learning. Sen ji, our fondness over Tagore connected us well and he found his forty years old friend from his school days who happens to be my neighbor. World is so small! Prashant ji, who was always keen on sharing knowledge of his field with me. Then there were Karan, Vinay, Manoj, Indraneel, Rehan, Sukhvinder ji, Vasundhra, Nisha and Divya(I hope I remember her name properly) who I didn’t talk too much but then it was a lot fun with all.

Now all those questions that wandered in my mind about free classes were answered or may be at least I understood them better. So conducting free classes is their way of promoting their language and connecting with people. What a noble thought! Human connection is something that today’s man craves for. We hook up to our smart phones for hours but we don’t like talking to or making connections with the person sitting next to us. I’m glad that I got an opportunity to join this course that not only opened up my mind and tuned it to accept the culture of another country but also made me rejoice the human connections with all the fellow students and our dear professor.

Oh! And I almost forgot to tell about Csoma, pronounced as ‘Choma’. Sándor Csoma de Kőrös was a philologist and the author of first Tibetan-English dictionary and grammar book. He was called ‘the foreign pupil’ in Tibet and was given the title of Bodhisattva by Japan in 1933. His journey in the Himalayas has intrigued me and I’m keen on learning advance level of Hungarian.

Beautiful Goodbyes!

I want to grow old with you
I want to die lying in your arms
I want to grow old with you
I want to be looking in your eyes
I want to be there for you, sharing everything you do
I want to grow old with you

Her phone played this song from her playlist when she was struggling to concentrate on her studies. Her mind wandered back to the day when she shared this song with him. Good old days! It was just five months ago when Kabir confessed his love for her. She had thought herself as the luckiest girl on this planet. Showing him her favorite things, reading to him her favorite stories and poems, going to her favorite restaurants, eating her favorite food, making him listen to her favorite songs; she showed him her naked soul. It was the first time she opened up that much with anybody. Though they started on a condition but soon that condition seemed like a past and he himself said, “Zafu, every time I meet you I get more attached to you. Just the thought of us not being together frightens me. I just want us to be together forever. I love you!”. “I love you beyond this universe”, she would say back. Whenever he used to think of separation, his eyes would be filled with tears. Zafirah was strong but one thing she couldn’t do was to see her loved ones crying. She used to hold his hands and say, “hey! I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. Okay? And I’m going to stay forever, till eternity. We will wait for each other’s parents to agree to it. Okay?”. She meant it, every single word. She knew her parents will never allow her to do this but she has always been like this. She knew what she wanted in life. Kabir was more than her wish. Kabir was her life. She once told him, “Kabi, within very less time you have become as important to me as my parents”.

In spite of all this togetherness and happiness, there was one thing that constantly kept her worried. She was elder to him by six years. It’s just six hears, she would say to herself. Kabir will take care of it. Trust him, believe him. Within last six months she has indulged herself in lot of self-talking.  She was a rebel from heart and she always thought of doing things differently. She has led her life on her own terms with the principles and values given to her by her family, her father and mother.

Amidst all this there came a very tough time on her and her family. Kabir was there, all the time. She grew more close to her. From good morning messages to goodnight kisses, they shared each and every moment of their day with each other. They were irresistible! She hated going to malls but she planned her every meeting with him in a mall thinking it’s him who is important and not the place. She had travelled world on her own. Her favorite place was amidst mountains. She always dreamt of having a small house there. But she thought she could live anywhere on this earth as far as Kabi is with her. She was ready to sacrifice her dreams for him.

It was different now.  They had decided to part ways. Kabir’s mother didn’t agree to their relationship and he wanted to end it. She was broken! She kept quiet. She didn’t say anything to him. Just two words, “I understand!”. Actually, there were things which she never understood. Not that why his mother didn’t agree or why he ended it but something else. It was something else that disturbed her.

After few days of last call, he finally called her up to meet him last one time. Reluctantly, she got ready because she herself wanted this to end on a sweet note. She wanted to keep good memories of this relationship. She knew that Kabir had already moved on and she was a girl who would never force anyone to stay in her life. She was loving, humble and kind but she was also very stubborn.

IMG_20180501_133840_518Finally, they met at a restaurant in CP. No holding hands, no hugs, no kisses; just a formal hello. Hiding her tears behind her smile, she asked him about his family and he asked her about her parents. There was an awkward silence. She still thought that Kabir would hold her hand and say “Zafu, let’s run away. Everything will be alright after some time”. This was just her thought. Kabir then broke the silence by saying that “I’m sorry. I feel guilty”. His voice wasn’t trembling. There were no tears rolling down from his eyes. Her mind drifted to his words which he said few weeks back with tears filled in his eyes. She was confused. Her heart was in a dilemma of trusting to what he said earlier or what he was saying now. She had been a good listener always. She kept listening to him. He just had one thing to say that we started on a condition. Condition, that if our parents will agree then only we will get married. She had lot to say but she wasn’t able to bring words out of her mouth. She kept listening. When Kabir was done saying whatever he wanted to say. She took a deep breath and opened her mouth, “But ma never met me, Kabi. My age cannot make me less good or less kind. My age cannot make me a bad person. You could have at least made her meet me. This way I would have thought that you made efforts to keep the relationship. You moved on very easily. I once told you that I was like a bridge on the river that stayed and you were like a passenger who crossed that bridge. My words were true. I loved you, Kabi. And a part of me will always love you.”

She then asked him if she could drop him to the metro station for one last time. He agreed to it. Before he could get off from car, she released her seat belt, turned towards Kabi, gave him a tight hug, kissed him and said I love you. She wanted to cry out loud but she controlled herself. He stepped out of the car, came near window and said “I loved you too. I’m sorry”.

It was a beautiful goodbye for her. Unfortunately, it was just in her mind. He never called her up to meet. He never made an effort to at least protect the friendship they shared. I’m standing by my words even after you are gone.  I once promised you to give my words and I’m doing it even when you didn’t stand up to your promises.

 

 

Art of sharing

20160605_203908Lately, I’ve learned that everything we do is an art. There’s art in sleeping, talking, speaking, walking and in every action that we do. I’ve also come to believe that each of us as a human being is a piece of art in itself, created by the Supreme power. And we all are beautiful in our own way, irrespective of our shape, color and caste.

Of all the arts, I loved “Art of sharing” the most. I call it an art because it is not less than any art. It just not comes like this. Like all other arts, one needs to practice this art. Sharing may be anything; knowledge, time, money, food, just anything. In the process of sharing, you might feel hurt or betrayed. Don’t worry! Pain is temporary. Do not let anybody stop you from learning and growing. It might take a life time to learn how to share even when you’re hurt but continue to do it anyway. That is how you’ll emerge above all the shackles of hatred and that is what will make you feel alive. Hatred or jealousy kills you little by little. Being alive is a miracle! You’ve to love life and sharing is the most important part of it. I’m in process of learning this art and I hope that some years from now I could say that I’ve learned a little bit of it. 🙂

The little girl and airplanes!

20161110_164636When Zafirah was small, under the winter sun of every 26th of the January month, her father use to take her to the terrace of the house and show her flying planes, the fighter ones. Since then the flying planes in the open blue sky and sound of it has always fascinated her. She smiles whenever she sees the one in sky!

Today, standing on the terrace of her office, amidst all the noises around, she could hear only the airplane sound. It made her smile! She reminisced those days of watching the planes; clapping and jumping with happiness. She has grown up now and doesn’t like to let the eyes of people around to fall on her by over reacting but inside her heart there is still that little girl alive who jumps and claps with the sight of planes. She is the little girl and airplanes under the open sky still give her immense pleasure.

Glimpses of sacred Pushkar!

My friend wanted to spend her new year outside Delhi and I wanted to spend it at some quaint place so that is how Pushkar happened. There wasn’t a much hassle in selecting a place to stay in Pushkar, as zostel is there in Pushkar. This was going to be my second stay in Pushkar Zostel. Staying at zostel or any such hostel can be learning in itself. It allows you to open up to strangers in a friendly way yet maintaining your own space. Sometimes, you get to meet interesting people and sometimes you’ll bump into really funny characters but you’ll surely enjoy if you have the guts to take in anything with not much tantrums.

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Sunrise at Anasagar Jheel, Ajmer

We started our journey on Friday night (best day to escape from the chaotic world of technological slaves: P). We were suppose to board bus from Bikaner House and upon reaching there I was excited to see famous Pandara road market just a few steps ahead to Bikaner House. Pandara road market is very famous among night riders in Delhi because some food joints (also the famous Gulati’s Restaurant) remain open late in night. The reason for my excitement was to hit the market unknowingly at night when lights were gleaming and people were in festive mood. We gulped in some hot badam milk to beat cold, located our bus and then finally boarded it. Journey from Delhi to Ajmer was a smooth ride in spite of the fact that there was dense fog on the way. We reached Ajmer with the break of dawn and waited for our friend who was supposed to pick us up from Ajmer and stay with us at Pushkar. On the way, he showed us various points which we would have missed otherwise like famous jogging point for Ajmeriites. There is nothing better than watching a rising sun and seeing the people breathing in fresh air and bucking up for their day. We too stopped for some time and soaked the freshness of it to revive our lost energy due to overnight journey.

 

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Books and Tau @ Zostel, Pushkar

Entering Zostel is entering into a fantasy world! The colorful common area assures a comfort stay; paintings on wall depict various stories related to Pushkar. I especially loved the one which says “something in Hebrew” because there are many places in Pushkar where it is written only in Hebrew and not in any other language. Room was to be allotted at 12:00 noon, so we got ready in the common bathroom (of course one at a time :P) and headed to calm our taste buds with scrumptious street food. With so many foreigners coming to this place, one can easily find cafes serving multi-cuisine food along with Rajasthani food. I was surprised to see roadside eating joints serving middle-eastern food like Falafel & Humus and even more astonished to see locals talk in Hebrew so fluently. I guess the settlement of lot of Israelis have made the influence on both tourism as well as locals here. Anyway, we were more interested in trying authentic Rajasthani food and since there are many things you can try road side, I’m listing it here for the convenience of writing as well as for reading: 🙂

  • Poha: We went to a famous cart in front of Varah ghat which serves Poha (a kind of flat rice). The man who serves Poha is Sonu and is very polite and sweet. He was happy to tell that some foreigner has already mentioned about his cart on google (internet). It was just for 10 bucks! We never had such tasty Poha at such a nominal price. The other food item that we tried at the same cart was Daal Pakwan. We named it as desi pizza! It was new and good in taste.
  • Jalebi: After having delicious breakfast one can have freshly prepared Jalebi with Rabri.
  • Lassi: It is prepared in a wooden whisk and served in earthen pots. Gulab lassi is also a hit among locals.
  • Malpua: This is strictly not-to-miss dish which unfortunately we missed and will have to go back to try it.
  • Mirchi Vada: Popular breakfast for Rajasthanis. Try it if you can handle the hotness of chilli that is filled with mashed potato, onion and spices.
  • Fresh Juices: Do not forget to quench your thirst with freshly prepared juices.
  • Falafel: Gorge on Falafel, Humus with Pita bread donned with garlic (to suit the Indian taste buds) at Ganga Restaurant. The owner here was fluent in Hebrew!

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Magnificient Sunset @ Pushkar

After having heavenly food and feeling content, one can take long stroll along 52 ghats around the holy lake. That is what we did to digest our food and take in the city vibes in the best possible way. In the daytime, ghats keep bustling with pilgrims taking a dip in holy water (which is unfit for health but religious fanatics don’t mind about dirty water). It is preferable to wear slipper/chappal that can be removed easily as while walking on the ghats you’ll have to remove footwear at certain places especially when walking near lake. We saw lots of foreigners performing pooja (prayers) near ghat. In the evening we went to the sunset point to immerse ourselves in the hues of sunset forming reflections on lake, musicians playing ektara and nagara, town reverberating with the chants of Aarti. For me it was a beautiful evening to end the year with and hope for a peaceful 2017. By the night, town was surrounded with loud music (please read it as bad speakers) playing various popular Hindi, English and Punjabi, Rajasthani songs. Songs like “tip tip barsa pani” which tickled our ribs; but it was quite safe to roam around. We then took time to call or message our loved ones and wish them ‘Happy New Year’s 🙂

First Sunrise of 2017!

First Sunrise of 2017!

Next day was planned to hike to Savitri Temple which is on a hill top and is a sunrise point. I couldn’t hike till the temple and we decided to rest somewhere in the middle from where we could get to see a perfect sunrise. The time just before sunrise is very sacred especially when it is going to be first sunrise of the year. We were drowning in the moment when sun was rising. It was beautiful!

In the afternoon, we took our seats in Laura’s café and lazed there till early evening. People there at Laura’s café are really nice and sweet. Don’t miss to go there if you are in Pushkar. My two close friends drove down to Pushkar from Udaipur to meet me. I was overwhelmed with their gesture. It is all together a different feeling of meeting friends at a place away from your home.

Pushkar is also a home for only Brahma Temple in the world and a historical Gurdwara which was visited by tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. It offers peaceful vibes to the otherwise wandering mind of city dwellers.

Time spent at Pushkar was enchanting with lots of shopping done in the colorful by lanes of the town with a good start to New Year. I wish that this year brings more peace in the world. Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year! (a little late though).

Here goes the sneak peek of two days at Pushkar:

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