On The Road
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To the Western Indian Border

Jaisalmer to Tanot : Longewala : Pabu ki dhani –

After reaching back to Jaisalmer from Khuri i decided to travel to Longewala- a border village and visit Tanot temple. It was 120 kilometres from the city and buses would only go to Ramgarh-half way. So i rented a Suzuki bike and rode for 3 days around border villages.

The road to Tanot temple was like riding a snake, and that snake is slithering across the horizon of Sand and Sky that too at night. It was late when i reached .Around 9. I went to the only hotel-dharamsala and found no body there. It was open. And it was empty. Unbolted doors were beating heavily. The wind was making an impression. And over all no body seemed to have any interest either in the temple or in the popular last army post. I seemed to be the only one- once excited visitor to have come to this ghost-not-even-a-town. I sat outside that hotel on earth near my bike, waiting for someone to happen. I even walked around, met couple of giant goats, the size of me. I touched their horns. They let me touch it. My desire didn’t stop there. I followed them and then photographed them too. Meanwhile i saw a big man in an army outfit limping towards the empty hotel. I followed. He was the man. After putting up some identity-cal questions i got the room. It should have been cheaper, i said. He stood up and started limped towards one of the room. The hot air that was jailed for numerous months greeted only my face with its warmth. The room had walls. Just that. Blue walls. The floor carried nothing. On one side there was a 5″ x 7″ image of my favorite Smashan tara right in the middle of the wall and exact opposite was a mirror- same size containing a half glass. He left, for me to figure out this room on my own. There was an almira embedded in the wall. I opened it, with continuous screeching sound i saw many ancient quilts stuffed together. As my tired eyes and shoulders allowed i took the cleanest ones out. One of them seemed to have achieved its maturity over time with all the orgasmic art that seemed flagged out there. I put it away and went on to decide the second most reliable one with color brown for the night. The moment i lied down, i saw a bat look-a-like shape hanging from the roof manually split into two and glued like a chewing gum right above me. Only a part of its wing and one leg intact in shape were visible. Outside a door thumped loudly. I left that room.

But then nights of Rajasthan are the most majestic ones. I am kind of sure of it. At times It is like becoming one with everything that is out there. Embracing something valuable that the winds carry in Rajasthan. I went to the roof. There were many mats already stretched out. I chose one. I saw bats flying all over the sky. That day was the third incident that i had with bats and amongst all it was the least interesting one. And now It hardly mattered.

I imagined my day, It suddenly seemed satisfying. The journey was fulfilling with the memories of desert and also the filming that had happened in last one week. I must have slept soon afterwards.

This entry was posted in: On The Road


Hello, My name is Narayan. I am a teacher and an Ethnographer. After college i opted for teaching in far away villages of the Himalayas and later in Central rural India. And gradually as I wandered along the local streams and rivers, unending fields i learnt not only about myself but India and what is it to be Indian, living with various families throughout India. And to tell you, there is nothing more than a smile and an effort to make their children lives better that makes them happy. I have been independently working as a writer, photographer and filmmaker. For past many years I have been travelling the Indian subcontinent teaching and extensively documenting rural and her communities. Learning and understanding culture, communication and various ways of human mind and body. I am a student of History and did my masters in it. And later studied Sanskrit. When you realise the alignment of your spirit with the world around you, winds take you to places in the Himalayas, where you learn the ancient Yogic way of nerve healing, I can't really know myself but since then all the above mentioned things altogether has helped me generously to enter homes for shelter and food in the night. I come back to Delhi. Here mother and I run a small school for children.

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