Well, you already know that my 2017 had started with a bang. (For those who don’t know, read “The Tale of a Rajasthani”)
Honestly, I was a little worried now. Every day I spend in Rajasthan should now be at par with the pilot one. I was worried that Jaisalmer might have just stolen all the thunder. I was positive that there was no excitement left, for my heart was more than content after returning from Jaisalmer. I had already witnessed a different Rajasthan. Little did I know that the universe had a lot more in the store for me.
Rajasthan is a place which gave me a huge cultural shock. Having watched forts, palaces and to be very specific, a lot of Vegetarians earlier, Ajmer and Pushkar made me realise that there are a lot of amazing mosques, “dargahs” and Israeli cafés, too.
DAY 2: We bid adieu to Jaisalmer the next morning and headed straight for Ajmer & Pushkar. It was one of those days when getting up early was easier than ever. Why? Because this is how the road journey looked like.
The fog had covered the road and we couldn’t stop ourselves from taking as many pit stops as possible. And how could one not stop? How could one want to miss this? The view and the weather needed to be respected and enjoyed.
We reached Pushkar at around 3 pm. Being a hill station, it was sunny yet cold. This place was an exact replica of Old Manali. For someone who hasn’t been to either of the places, the streets are tiny with small shops and cafes on both the sides. The main street will lead you directly to a Brahma Temple. You’ll see Indians shopping, and Israelis smoking at the cafes. Amongst all the tourist-y cafes, we were looking for a place which would be in the city yet a little isolated.
While we were wandering through the busy street of Pushkar, a man approached us and asked us to visit this temple across the lake. There was no way there existed a lake in such a small town. Just when we were done with this conversation, he turned around and pointed to the steps that led us to this lake. And we knew, we had found what we were looking for.
After enjoying a peaceful afternoon at Pushkar, we left for Ajmer. It took us barely 30 minutes to reach there. It was quite a transition in terms of population when we went to Ajmer from Pushkar. The peace was gone, the roads were crowded and there was obviously no lake but a lot of traffic. We did not know where to start from but fortunately, our driver cum guide came to our rescue. He gave us a small city tour which actually included just the huge Dargah, famously known as the Ajmer Sharif Dargah.
We entered the Dargah and our Muslim driver started guiding us through the magnificent place of worship. Inside the Dargah, there were a lot of small structures of ancient origin. So, every structure represented a place where the Almighty had stepped or resided, millions of years ago. There was a small shrine where the tomb of the saint was placed. When we were entering the shrine, I turned to my driver and asked him, “Aren’t you going to join us?”. He simply nodded, pointed to his heart and said, “Allah yaha hain” (The Almighty resides here).
Those three words made me realize how simple our lives would be if everyone began to think like him. It is as simple as it sounds 🙂
This time not only did I see a different Rajasthan but a different Rajasthani, too.
(Day 3.. Coming soon)