All posts tagged: rajasthan

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. 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 …

A hitchhike gone eternal

I could well be passing my worst night. I had missed my fastest express to home, and was barely left with enough money to buy tickets again. Evening was around, I decided to reach the highway and do what i had never done. I started asking passing by truck drivers for a lift. As time passed and no one stopped, uneasiness was creeping in. I hadn’t done anything like it before. But I kept telling myself that if nobody stops I will rest at a temple or the next dhaba i may find. After a considerable time suddenly a big truck passed and seemingly started slowing down. It must have stopped 100 meters ahead. I ran. It looked strange at first sight for such a big thing stopping, for me!! It was a sixteen-wheeler trolley. Empty. I got in. There was only one small, frail person, the driver sitting. He was lanky, and looked too young to be driving anything like this. Also he looked grim, bit sad and may be in shock. Apart from …

In loving memory of Dhapodi Ji

Dhapodi ji became a shepherd once she learnt that she would not be able to give Ambaram any children. I saw her whole life as she slowly walked away, Limping for her daily work. She looked after seventy goats and four cows. Takes them all together for grazing daily finding newer fields and trees to eat from. Meanwhile Ambaram married again, in search for a boy the new couple got five beautiful talkative girls before a quiet boy arrived from the younger wife. All children are going to school except the youngest girl. I remember Dhapodi jiji because we never spoke. Over all It must have been over eight days as she brought me tea each day and food in the night before leaving to her hut. Falling sick around her was like i became her new goat. She gave me home medicines like my mother is giving me now for cough. One night when the family had gone out, i found her working in the candle light in the kitchen. I asked her if …


She kept looking towards the sky while floating in the water kept for cows. Her death seemed such that at one time I felt she chose it.   But do birds more so when one is a predator choose their own death?   When Maharaj ji arrived, he first closed his eyes. May be she needed someone to close her eyes before it could be plucked out by hungry ones. May be he earned this burial. To only put a stop to this cycle. May his body rests and the spirit awakens. Aum Shanti In Photos 1  

Jacky the Panther

World is the child of chaos or so it seems. Maharaj was expecting tea from a strange home when two bulls started sharpening their horns in front of an old white temple when a third one came. Tea was sweet. An old woman bowed to Maharaj and soon all including the bulls started walking in different directions. Jacky the panther roared all day so much that the sound became as usual as of crow’s to ears. I tried looking for him behind the Keekar trees but instead looked into my phone in front of the mountain on a real sun shine winter day. Jheeu came and complained about not getting his gun. I told him to cut some papaya and together we put pomegranate over it. By the time we could finish it Logar came laughing and told us he has fever.

Planets find a well

The four rounds around fire and seven complexities. Sound of a marble like play of a mystic. Gaya left us to Kali and Logar. We moved around the Bodhi tree nine times and collected mud from the nine planets. We found a well and gave to the water some part rice, rawa and Lentils. Later while spreading mud around the bhairavi tree Maharaj found a small sculpture of Jesus. He laughed and kept it with him quietly. The leaves are falling. It is quiet again.

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 …

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 …