rajasthan, Short Stories, Tales from Rural India
Comments 116

One night at the Indo-Pakistan border

As Corona and the bats are the rhetoric of the year, i remember one night that came and crossed all expectations of mysticism and fear that will always go together, found me at the lonely town of Rajasthan with Pakistan. – The day was done by the noontime. After a whole day of chasing a manganiyar singer, I finished my interview with an old tribal song as i requested Veeru’s great grandfather who sat under a neem tree looking up at a bird. I left Veeru’s beautiful white wall, red lined home in a hurry. I was leaving for Tanot, barely even a town, 120 kilometres away from Jaisalmer towards Longewala- and visit Tanot temple situated right at the border of India and Pakistan. I rented a Suzuki bike for three days. and left for the wilderness. tanot-sketch It was all fine till a point but after Ramgarh, the road transformed into something like riding a snake. A snake slithering across, passing through the dunes of the oldest Asian Desert, that has forgetton the horizon between the Sand and Sky. That day the wind blew hard and visibly carried sand on to the road. And at many places gobbled it. I had a feeling that it may become dangerous after sun down but anyways i slowed down and enjoyed the beautiful scape. There is no doubt and i will write it that looking at the sun sleeping in rural Rajasthan is one of the most calming sceneries to grow with. I parked my bike, walked up to the dune to have a darshan of the visible god. It was quiet up there. The wind blew with a motive, may be telling me to hurry. But just about when the sun is going down, the magic that is embracing you in the middle of nowhere, alone; going to a place you know nothing of, a few emotions arrived filling me with doubt. More so in this enormous, remote, far reaching landscape; i felt tiny in the setting sun, in this boundless desert; not exactly because i have an empathetic heart but the dry wind carries the weight of so many stories, that if you are alone for too long it does start affecting your ways of perceiving. dsc06830-e1529045304294 Earlier i had thought of reaching Tanot before evening but after it got dark, the sand made it harder to ride over it. I had to be extra cautious. Few curves were hidden under it like I had to stop the bike and literally light my torch to find the edges of the roadway after a few feet. For as far as i could see it was dark. It seemed i was only light moving. For a good long hour, no one came from the opposite direction or in mine overtaking me. No body seemed to live there after ramgarh, or may be there was no electricity. Everyone and even cattle had gone into hiding. Almost two hours riding through the dead dark. I reached Tanot, late by any village standards around 9. Definitely not the best place to arrive at this time of the night, and not so strange at the same time if you change your direction. Because there were goats the size of me, looking at me, at my red coloured helmet head. Only one car in the whole town was parked outside that dharmsala- kind of a place. And No body was there. The doors can be heard slamming from outside and sand could be seen flying through the rough empty complex. Goats were still processing my presence. I offered them ParleG biscuits and things cooled down. We became friends. I could now touch their horns. I walked for fifteen minutes here and there trying to find one person to speak to. Breathing, straightening my legs, resting all in all waiting for something to happen. Nearby unbolted doors were beating heavily. The wind kept making an impression. I seemed to be the only one- once excited visitor to have come to this ghost-not-even-a-town. dsc06659-1 I saw a big guy in an army outfit limping towards the empty hotel. I followed him. He was the man. After putting up some identity-whereabout questions he gave me a room. It should have been cheaper, i said. He ignored me, stood up silently and started limping towards the room. i followed. It seemed a long, slow, silent walk to the room on the first floor. He gave me the key and U-turned. With a historical screech- Iron gate opened and moment it happened hot air no less toxic than jailed gases of years greeted my face and entered my already blown away system from nostrils and an ill-fated open mouth. The room had walls. Just that. Blue walls. There was no bed, no chair, no table, no windows. The floor hosted nothing. On left side in the middle of the wall there was a 5″ x 7″ image of goddess Smashan tara and exact opposite was a mirror- same size, half broken. There was an almira embedded in the wall. I opened it, with continuous screeching sound i saw many aged quilts seemed to have been kept from bygone times, stuffed together. My tired eyes and drained shoulders put a fight to take the cleanest one out. One amongst them seemed to have achieved its maturity over time, with all the orgasmic art that had taken place on it. I put it away and decided on the second most reliable one with the color brown. And After a long time the moment i needed, my body required came- i lied down, my eyes stopped at the roof. Once Sleepy eyes opened far wide again. Re-checking the reality. What was it? There was some shape, form i couldn’t figure out immediately what, was hanging from the roof right above my eyes. Investing some time in it- It was most probably a bat manually split into two, was glued like a chewing gum up there. Only a part of its wing and a part of the leg was untouched. I breathed deep. Outside a door thumped loudly. I left that room. Outside i couldn’t find the man anywhere. I suddenly wasn’t sleepy. I discovered the way to the top and arrived at the terrace. There were many mats already stretched out. I chose one. And lied looking at the dark sky. The nights of Rajasthan are equal for everyone if your bed is outside under stars. And feels like becoming one with everything that is out there. Embracing something valuable that the winds carry here.  I must have slept soon. After seeing some bats flying happily.

Found them hanging at a Haveli in Churu, Rajasthan

: ँ : Thank you. If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste : ँ : I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly; What have i learnt in a decade of travels from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara. : ँ : If you wish to contribute to my travels, or towards My School you can please do so here And when you have something to share, or feel like saying a hello, please write to me at nara@road-to-nara.com To visit other long-term photographic works, you can visit here. To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at  Instagram | Facebook | Twitter
This entry was posted in: rajasthan, Short Stories, Tales from Rural India


Hi, I am Narayan Kaudinya. And i welcome you on this journey, the Road to Nara ! I am an Ethnographer and a practicing Indologist. I did my masters in History and further learnt Sanskrit, Yoga and Nerve-therapy. At 24, pushing most academic sounding, office sitting works away, i felt compelled to know and understand the world and my country, Bharat/India. I travelled, and as it happened i took up teaching in Kashmir and further up in the remote villages of Baltistan in the foothills of Karakoram Ranges. For around three years and many states later there came a time when i felt that it was only while teaching i learnt how to laugh, to see, feel, breathe, love and cry -with children, and mostly resource-less parents in the harshest-freezing border conditions. I write, and work as a documentary photographer and Filmmaker, with numerous published, exhibited and some awarded stories. In my travels and life i have let nature lead me, the divine mother, and as a Yogin, my resolve here is to share my experiences and thoughts as honestly, and through them to blossom in everyone the power and possibility in pursuing your breath, that you seek your true nature with courage and curiosity. Here, on this road i will share my spirit, my love for nature, the elements of life that are us. And in doing so, i'll be happy to see you along.


  1. dessertflower5 says

    Quite a intersting story may I say. And quite the trill and adventure. The name verru was on point. Keep blogging and keep going ✌

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks so much for your visit… WOW. This was so wonderfully written. nice to see such real and beautiful writing. and what a room! This line gave me all the tingles: “The nights of Rajasthan are equal for everyone if your bed is outside under stars.” 👌 thanks for sharing these vignettes from your travels. 🤩

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I absolutely adore your blog! It’s a great read and your topics are so interesting for a travel lover like me!
    Keep writing beautiful contents like this!

    Aathmana ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  4. summerhilllane says

    I slept last night under the stars too, I am not traveling anywhere interesting like you though. The city was in a black out, so no air conditioning and it is blazing hot at least by Canadian standards. The balcony was cooler and stars were actually visible because of the blackout.
    Thank you for taking me on your journeys with you. I love your writing ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Summer, welcome. I hope this is your name. And i can call you that.
      Summer and stars are bound to be in each other’s vicinity. One always feels like expanding looking at the vastness, stars can makes us happy and surprise us too if we can only take much time out.
      My pleasure Summer. Lovely to have you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • No Padma, please don’t envy. I would love to see you take such journey’s. And freedom is in limitation. Then only it can be lived through well. Don’t require anything apart from – iccha 🙂 I am Happy to have you reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have shared with us a beautiful story from your travel through the desert.
    where sky and sand seem to have no border. The stillness and peace that emits is
    precious. To sleep under the stars is another near spiritual experience. Thanks Narayan for
    this shared journey.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. I would have chosen to sleep under the stars rater than under stuck bats. This is a wonderful adventure you have shared with us. When I was younger I had some travel adventures but none that involved bats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anne, first i must confess, in love with your horses, i learnt riding in my school days, just never found place rather circumstances where i can be friends with these divine creatures.
      Yes, stars, i hope i get to read your adventures of all times too. Very happy to have you here. Accept my regards. Nara x.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You wrote in a way that I could see and feel your experience. It reminded me a bit of the time I took a bus from Chennai to Trivandrum thinking because it looked like a Greyhound bus it would be like a journey in the US. That was probably in 1991. I haven’t done any bus journeys since then! If I couldn’t fly, I would take a train!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • haha, and that too 1991, that was such a time. World has truly transformed and now with an almost refresh button.
      Thank you, it is very motivating to have your words and knowing how you felt reading the journey, makes me balloon like glad 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for stopping by, having your words here. Yes. we all hope we can do what makes us free and happy, with utmost gratitude towards nature without conditions 🙂 Really would like to grow some wings again, unhindered.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. OH MY GOSH!!! WOW! Narayan! What an adventure that was! Laughing and SO happy that You got there safe and eventually made it up to the roof where sleep was possible. Just amazing! Thank You for sharing this story and Your travels!!! I hope You and Yours are well and that You’re having a wonderful weekend!!! Huge hugs and Cheers! 🤗❤️😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Forrester,

      How have you been? I was away in the forests of northern India.

      ha ha yes this has been one of the closest and most memorable of the three instances i had with bats. Without any doubt as you wrote, it ended kind of amazingly.

      My stories are nothing if you are not there to receive, so it is you, lot more than me dearest forrester. And can only thank you and wish for beautiful days, winters to come.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Hey Narayan!

        WOW! How very fun! I hope You had a wonderful trip!!! That sounds so exotic!

        Thank You for Your kind words! I am wishing beautiful days and winters to come as well!!! And MANY more wonderful adventures for You for us to read about!!!

        Sending You tons of Love!
        Katy 🤗❤️😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • I had some beautiful walking days dear Forrester. And that was how i was unable to write, say anything for this long. Found some time to walk in the Himalayas.

          Your love will always be well received. And now i just got blessed to know some initials of your name dearest. But still i would love to call you Forrester.


          Liked by 1 person

          • Ok. Moment of silence, dear Narayan. Sigh. 😊

            I hope before I die I can write the words You speak, “Found some time to walk in the Himalayas.”!!! WHAT?!! LOVE this soooo very much!!! Please tell them I said hello next time Your’e there!!! I’m not even joking! 😃 And…YAY!!! I’m soooo happy You do these things. Wonderful!

            Your love is always well received also. And You are welcome to call me Forrester! I almost changed my name to Forrester McLeod when I was much younger….that’s where it comes from! So….that’s fine!!!

            Sending huge hugs! Bon Voyage and Rock on!!! 💕💕💕


  9. I truly appreciate this post. I抳e been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thanks again


  10. Terrific post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thank you!


  11. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!


  12. I appreciate, cause I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye


  13. Marvelous description. I felt I was on your journey with you. I also felt the oneness with all when we look at a sky filled with stars. At first I have felt like I was shrinking in the face of all that glory, but then I felt at one with it, sharing all of its wonder.


  14. Hello again Narayan! Interesting. Liked n learnt that trick of ParleG with goats! Your first pic, the hand drawn one, is Great! 🙂


  15. Nice read! But be careful with the Queen’s English! Rhetoric is not the right word to use in the first line. Look up its meaning. You probably meant flavour. And forgotten is misspelt. Please read my blog posts. I challenge you to find mistakes of this nature.


  16. AJ says

    Captivating story and storytelling. I wanted to read more, but it ended abruptly. Is there a sequel?


  17. This one reads like poetic prose. A beautiful write. And I love the photo of the winding road where you cycled, and the one of the curious little bats 🙂


    • I have spent numerous days and nights across this border from Baltistan to Rajasthan Sunra. Teaching, travelling, for photographs, other works. But here Bats were after me plus some more incidents.


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