Sunday, August 31, 2014

Birds from my Window - Crow Pheasant

The Greater Coucal, called a Crow Pheasant, is neither a crow nor a pheasant, but belongs to the cuckoo family. They are commonly called 'Bharadvaj', and sighting them is believed to be a good omen.



Friday, August 29, 2014

Ganesha on a Govardhan

Today is Ganesh Chaturthi, and with everyone writing about Ganesha in some way or the other, I thought I should do a post too, but related to something I saw on my recent visit to Jaisalmer. Are you now confused? And wondering what connection Ganesha has to Govardhan and that too, Jaisalmer? Well, then, first, let me show you what I am talking about….


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stories of the Desert

“It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story” 

                                   – Native American Saying
All of last week, sitting on my computer, trying to write the next post in my Suryagarh series, I was lost – for words, for ideas, for inspiration. Most of what I wanted to say had been said by others before me, and I began wondering if I should be writing at all. Then, this morning, I stumbled onto this quote, and suddenly, the ideas poured forth, as if a thousand voices were indeed telling me their own stories! And therefore, without much ado, here they are…


Monday, August 18, 2014

A Flag of Devotion

On our way to Jaisalmer from Jodhpur, we often saw groups of people walking, those in the lead holding a flag, and the others carrying bottles of water on their head. These, we were told, were devotees of Baba Ramdev of Ramdevra near Pokhran (not to be confused with the Yoga guru of the same name), walking to his shrine. Like the warkaris who walk to Pandharpur for Ashadi Ekadashi, these devotees walk to Ramdevra during the months of August- September, to participate in the festival commemorating their guru’s Samadhi. I wasn’t able to photograph them, or the flag they carried, but, when we visited the Jaisalmer Fort, I was surprised to see the same flag flying high! Apparently, a shrine to the saint has been erected near the temple at the base of the fort!! This is certainly a new development, one which wasn’t there when I last visited, but I took the opportunity to click the multi-coloured flag!





Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Re-tracing the Silk Route on the Sands of Time

A caravan makes its way across the desert, the lead vehicle stopping often to check their route. They have a long way to go, and the desert terrain is rough, and easy to get lost in. It is monsoon, and they are relieved to be spared the scorching sun. The cloudy sky is such a blessing after the harsh summers they have experienced here. The landscape offers them a change too, with pools of rainwater breaking the monotony of the sand dunes.



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wildlife in the Desert

Black Bucks ran across the road, peacocks danced as we watched, birds flew into the air, and insects and reptiles scuttled into their safe havens at our approach. Our recent trip to Jaisalmer was full of such 'wild' encounters! 


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Of old journeys and new ones... and a glimpse of my recent trip

June 2007: Shankar and I head out to Jaisalmer, 4 year old Samhith in tow. It is a memorable trip, one where we walk for hours over the Golden Fort, clicking photographs with our trusted old Kodak camera, as we take turns carrying Samhith and posing! We trudge across sand dunes on camels, even as I close my eyes tightly to avoid the queasy feeling, and then happily play on the sand, though it still retains some of the heat of the day! I return with so many tales from the trip that my sister in law suggests I start a blog.




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