The idea of it
Well who doesn’t love festivals? India is all about its culture and values.
Celebrating fests with family, staying home, meeting relatives is always fun but celebrating life with a complete new bunch of people in a city you’ve never been to, how about that?
And I always love to meet new people and listen to the stories they have.
So it started like this. 1st of March, it was my birthday and this year I wanted to celebrate it other than the usual Delhi way. But it was Holi this year on the 2nd of March so my friends couldn’t go on a trip because their families wanted them to be around, you know. So I thought why not travel to a place which is famous for Holi celebration only. I had heard a lot about the ‘Holi at Pushkar’ thing.
But a person like me, who has been afraid of Holi colors for my entire life, had never let anyone put a smallest particle of gulaal on me, made a plan to celebrate Holi (my birthday rather), that too in a completely unfamiliar city and with people there. I still have no idea why?
See you there
The journey began at the night of 28th.I took at bus from Delhi to Pushkar. The bus started at around 11 o’clock, so basically at 12 when my birthday actually started I was in a bus, knew nobody around, no cake surprises, nothing, had network issues, so a few people who were trying to call, were not able to reach me. Lol.
The next morning, I was still there in bus, I tried peeking outside the window. I was evidencing what I had been reading and seeing in the photographs for all these years. The boho vibe of Rajasthan. It has palaces and villas and then it has ruins and the nomads. A part of it has cities, so colorful like a color palate and a part of it has just shades of desert. Versatility is always attractive you know.
Around 10 the bus dropped us. My trip was not much preplanned so by the time I was trying to book a stay, everything was already booked. By that time I didn’t know about the Wildling Travels people, else I think it would have been easier. I had to spend an hour checking out stays around and then found a fine and detox place.
I relaxed for an hour or so, and then got ready to explore the city. I wore a skirt, I just bought from a tiny shop, that was like 10 steps away from the place I was staying at. As I went into this store I was ready to bargain like we do in the local markets of Delhi and I had already made up the scenario in my mind that if he would tell 1000 bucks, I would tell him not more than 800. I bought two skirts and I asked this man, how much bhaiya? He said, 400. I asked 400 for two? He said, Yes. Rofl.
I wore this skirt paring up with a top, a silver neck piece and a pair of jhumkas. Delhi stuff you know.
I have always had a love in my heart for windows, doors and Walls , obviously the fancy ones. And there, I found every door and window to be like that, to fall for. Bumblebee yellows, ocean blues, beige browns and hot pinks all around. How can you stop falling yourself for all these?
Walking around , I reached the Pushkar Lake. The whole of the Pushkar city is settled around this lake, so when you stand at the lakeside you get this amazing view.
I was in another head space you know because while standing there seeing the lake, city, birds and everything, I had a very different feeling. I was feeling thankful to life, for a moment. Because you know, I have always spent my birthdays partying to a state where my mind loses sense, getting lost in the loudest of music where I can’t listen to my inner self. Maybe because when you can’t listen to the hustle inside you, you’re at utmost peace.
I once read somewhere that we are a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. We try to fill every moment of time with noise and activity to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger.
But the feeling I had at that time was very different. I had a glance of my soul. I felt calm, I felt serene, I felt enchanted. How can you feel like home at a city you’ve never been to? Well, at Pushkar you can, trust me, it has that vibe.
I then went to explore this cafe Om Shiva garden restaurant, the nearest I could find around the lake. It had sittings both in open garden area and the shaded one. I quite liked the food. After this I went to explore the local market there. Pushkar has a fancy market. The shops are like very tiny keeping all the fashionable stuff. The market is a heaven for jewelry enthusiast. I bought a few silver stuff and a very cool t-shirt to wear on the next day.
So this was the evening of the day before Holi and The Holi celebration was about to begin already. They have two celebrations, one from the night before Holi till the morning, the rave party they call it, and one on the main Holi day.
As soon as the evening was turning out to be the night, the game totally changed. There were more people on the road, chilling around. On the town’s main square they had put up an enormous bonfire, which is a holi ritual. And on the other square of the town the party had began. People were going crazy dancing to the psychedelic beats of this loudest music. The night never seemed to be a night actually, It was brighter than any brightest day. Crazy scenario.
Puskar has Israel street food stalls, and they have amazing variety. Somebody suggested me to try this thing called ‘Falafel’ which was actually sort of a stuffed roll. My taste buds still crave for the taste it had.
I quite gel up well with new people. I met a group, they were Delhi guys only, so was hanging around with them for a while, and then I went back to the place to sleep because I did not want to miss the fun that was going to happen the next day.
I woke up at 8 or so, wore the T-shirt I bought the other day with a pair of shorts and rushed out. I kept on walking around the streets for a while, observing. There were vendors on road selling organic colors to play. A kid started throwing colors at me and I started running dodging him. He ran after me, and I fell hard. Lol
Soon the fest started catching fire. Damn the Pushkar city, I mean I had expectations, but this was a full blown music party in the middle of the town square. A thousand shirts were hanging from a power line above. They were grabbing every male mate, separating their shirts from their bodies and throwing it up to that wire above. You could hardly make out the foreigners from the locals and these people from different places, knowing different languages were all around hugging each other, wishing each other a happy holi, coloring each other and celebrating. Also people were enjoying from the hotel and caffe balconies, but I was a part of the crowed on the roads.
On the main square itself, they had a DJ set up on a roof top and speakers all around the street, huge ones. People were going crazy grooving to the beats. There was a team who was keeping an eye on the crowd making sure that no one gets physically hurt and nobody bothers anyone, specially women.
After dancing on streets for hours, I came back to the stay. Slept for a few hours, I was dead tired.
The Brahma Temple
In the evening, I got ready, wore the another skirt from the two I bought the other day pairing it with a peplum top and left for The Brahma Temple.
So the temple has a story behind, which is that the lord Brhama, the creator, created a clown of his own wife, Savitri, for the rituals they had to perform together. When his wife got to know this, she got furious and cursed lord Brahma, that he wouldn’t be worshiped at any other place, and the Brahma temple in Pushkar is said to be only Brahma temple in the world.
And it is also said that Pushkar city has a very strong reversion of the Karma. Maybe that’s why you can feel it all around in the Vibe of city.
When I reached, it was quite late and the temple doors were about to close. I and an another bunch of people were the last one to enter the temple. The temple structure dates to the 14th century, partly rebuilt later. The temple is made of marble and stone slabs. I worshiped and then sat there for a while.
It’s a wrap
After having a day like that, I was hungry, obviously. I then visited this cool cafe called Nirvana. They have a real boho interior and floor sittings as well and it is a close ended cafe. They entertain a very less population. You can go there, order, and then sit and chill. Talk, laugh, read, or get lost in the trippy music they play. The waiting time is a bit lot, but the food is worth waiting for. I sat there for two hours, I guess. Then went back to the stay to sleep as I had to leave for Ajmer the next morning.
So Yes, I’m doing my first blog about this journey, because this is a very close to heart trip. The experience helped me learn, grow and allow. This place is magical and that’s all I can say. A must have once in a life time kind of experience, the one I don’t want to have just once