All posts filed under: rajasthan

LAST FLIGHT OF AN OWL

He kept looking towards the sky while floating in the water kept for cows. Big round button yellow eyes like ever watching you do the doing. His death seemed such that at one time I felt he chose it. But would a predator or anyone can choose his own death? May be. But When Maharaj arrived, he first closed his eyes. May be he needed someone to close his eyes before it could be plucked out. May be he earned this burial. To only put a stop to this cycle. May his body rests and the spirit awakens. Aum Shanti  

Mangla and her magical milk

Mangla’s milk has been the best thing to happen in this sea ashram. But today even before I could taste it, Logar brought Papaya for the first time and we prepared shake for every one. I closed the dhuni myself today when Maharaj ji retired after keeping the planets outside out of rat fear. He seemed tired. We called different goddesses around sunset and went outside the premises along the foothills to buy rabbits for Gayatri. Later when we came back, Manavendra was sitting on his horse called gambler over the Thorn hill. For the night we were invited to a home where several varieties of food was being prepared. When we reached, a woman whose face I forgot as soon I met her as i kept looking only at her nose pin. She told me my caste, and while drinking the papaya shake left from the morning, asked me to slow down. Me? When i woke up in the night even though i didn’t have to, a man was seen going away from me …

The neem Tree

Its time to sleep. And Logar starts beating the drum again tonight. May be he does it for mangla, the cow. But then there is no need for that. Or may be to warm himself up. It is cold. Or most probably and i feel this could be the reason, to keep Jacky, the panther away from the cows. Its windy. Neem tree under which we sleep showers its old leaves on us all night. In the morning we went towards the field and started digging. The mud that we got was put into a copper plate and then was under the same tree. On it we placed a copper snake and twelve different coloured stones in the direction of the water. Maharaj went to the temple on the mountain. I, and the guy whose dream is to mine a mountain started putting the clay in the direction of the planet’s movement. But they wobble. Even though the energy is needed to pour in them, the vital breath but we shall see tomorrow when maharaj …

Arrival of the ancient mountains

In the night a train came. In it was an engine sleeping above Maharaj. So loud was his snore that I started going from bed to bed but to only kept get up enquiry after enquiry. In the morning as the sun rose, Aravalis were seen passing. Winters seemed gone, the moment I poured ground water on my head at four in the morning in February. A mountain starts from behind the ashram. And holds in him a panther they call Jacky. Jacky is popular and so much that he has come in the premises for if the cows go munching in the night. Me and Maharaj went to the Hinglaj temple and sang songs for two hours after we had food. I saw mangla while coming down and went near her to comb her stomach. During that time I learnt few new things about shukra and shiva, Shani and Vikramaditya. There is one Banayan, one neem, a library and enough blankets under the open sky. Rathore’s Kuladevi is Mata Nageahwari. Lights are out but …

A Cactus in the Desert

  Photograph of a lost memory in flaring heat of Jaisalmer –  It is hot in Barmer. It is so hot that my lower portion feels different and apart from my head. My right cheek has swelled. Ulcers recognized heat. I am staying with amma here, a Bhopa. Last night we decided to attend Pabu ki phad. Happens rarely now. A local god. Reincarnation of Laksman. Bhopas sing and dance for Pabu. For two nights Bhopas from all across the region have come to sing and dance reciting Pabu’s story. Anada Ram was the most prolific Ravanhatta musician, who died 33 years ago. His wife, Amma vowed to never sing after that day. I am here to document her son. He never learnt Ravanhatta. He wanted to be a dancer. I have known him for eight months now. There were many other dancers from the community who had come yesterday. Veer was going to show me one of his acts dancing on the mirror glass with fire in his mouth. He does not dance in …

One night at the border

The day was done by the noontime. After a whole day of chasing a manganiyar singer I finished my interview and recorded an old manganiyar song that was sung by his  great grandfather, the most famous amongst his community. I left his beautiful white walled red lined painted 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 passing through dunes of the oldest Asian Desert. After Ramgarh, the road to Tanot temple was like riding a snake. A  snake slithering across forgetting the horizon between Sand and Sky. The wind had carried sand on to the road and at many places gobbled it. I had a feeling that it may become dangerous after sun sleeping. I did not want to rush at all. Just as the sun was preparing to set I parked my bike on the side, walked up …