PUSHKAR FAIR’S BEHIND THE SCENES- RAJASTHAN, INCREDIBLE INDIA!
This blog is a part of my series on the Pushkar fair of Rajasthan in Incredible India. I traveled solo in shoestring budget to Pushkar fair. Check out all my blogs in the series which apart from many interesting aspects of Pushkar fair, lists down information like – Best time to go to Pushkar, Best things to eat in Pushkar Fair, How to reach Pushkar Fair, Offbeat things to do in Pushkar etc. This blog is about the behind the scenes of the Pushkar fair. Incredible India!
Sulabh Shauchalaya – Public toilet disasters at Pushkar fair!
The last day at Pushkar fair turned out to be packed with action. It was definitely the most eventful day. Having reached Ajmer (from Udaipur) solo early morning (5:15a.m.), I rushed to Pushkar fair and reached by 6:00 a.m. I had no plan of checking in any hotel. It was my one of those days when I test myself and my endurance/adaptation level and my survival instincts by living off with minimum resources. I get a kick out of it.
So there I was, adjusting myself in a dirty Sulabh Shauchalaya (public toilet), answering nature’s call while the expensive camera dangled from my neck. (I had asked the keeper of the public toilet to take care of the bag, while I get lighter by few grams in the paan-masala stained loo. Much to my chagrin, there were no taps in the loo.
Rajasthan has many amazing places to visit, some of them are colour themed – click here to read about them.
So I had to fill water from a common tap area in a cleverly cut yellow plastic Dalda (vegetable oil) container. For some reason, Indians can not part with their Dalda containers. It is easily spottable and once the oil finishes it is used as toilet mug/kerosene container/petrol fillers, even as planters for growing flowers, fruits, the works! Told you in my last blog, the way Indians recycle and don’t waste anything, it will make Al Gore one very happy man.
Pics above: have you ever ended up in dirty toilets like this? I did!
In Ajmer, I had weighed the bag (Yes, there were flabbergasted onlookers galore), which amounted to 12.5 kgs. So my test that day was to move around with that heavy bag from 5:00a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the scorching heat of Rajasthan. (It being onset of winter didn’t help!) And must say I did a good job of it! I hardly felt fatigued. Perhaps, the love for travel took over.
Since early morning is the perfect time for photography (esp. for silhouettes), thanks to a mellow Sun , I decided to explore the behind the scenes of the fair. Here I am talking about the camps and the makeshift tents the merchants set up on the huge vacant ground overlooking the hills behind the stadium.
No five star luxury can match the fun these guys have here out in the open, left to brave the elements. It’s a huge colony of wanderers setting up a temporary household in the middle of nowhere. They are mostly the cattle owners/sellers/buyers.
When you come here then you realise that the fair is not only about the camel but also cows, ox, bulls, goats, horses and even donkeys were tied up neatly in temporary cattle buyers and stables. All I could see were wandering families, tents, cattles, their dung and their fodder. All the dung lying around made the air acrid but it was tolerable and I didn’t mind it. It reminded me of my village Baansgaon near Gorakhpur.
BE A VOYEUR OF LIFESTYLE OF LOCALS AT PUSHKAR FAIR RESPECTFULLY!
It was indeed interesting to see the lifestyle of the locals being playing out in the open. There were men getting a shave out in the open. I wished to get it done but something stopped me. I liked the way authoritative looking group of middle aged men discussed business over hukka. Then there was a man who made a make shift ‘chulha’ (stove) by lighting wood under the vessel settled on bricks from three sides. The smell from the tea simmering on that ‘chulha’ on that wintery November morning was something else. The man happily posed for me.
Then there were some local kids who excitingly gheraoed me for their pictures. There were several heart-warming scenes which made me appreciate and understand the man-animal relationship in Rajasthan. Some owners were very lovingly feeding the cattle and talking to them as they would to their kids. Though animals for them meant only business but I could sense an emotional bond between the animal and its owner.
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Pics above: Behind the scenes from Pushkar fair, Rajasthan. Incredible India!