September 25, 2007

A Street Corner

To the west of India on the gateway to the Thar desert there lies a blue city at the foot of the fort of Mehrangarh. There in the old mohallas if you strain hard you can hear history echoing the reign of the Rajput rulers amid the brilliant colours of Rajasthan.

In those old mohallas blue houses straddle some street corners. On my way across the Old city each day I latched onto as many mohallas as I could, walking the narrow lanes from morning to evening in the blazing Sun until I could walk no more.

One blue house in particular sat on the threshold of an ancient market, and each time that I walked past it I glanced at the door wondering if it was open. Sometimes it was, but not once did I see anyone at the door. So I never got to know who lived there. Somehow, in not being able to ‘put’ a face to the house I was left with a sense of the incomplete trailing in my wake each time that I made past the house.

One day as I rounded a bend in the mohalla a cart hitched to a lone Ox stood in the lane by the house, looking past the bend in the galli. From then on I rarely see an Ox without seeing a blue house on a street corner.

In time I’ll post my Rajasthan Diaries on days when colors beckon and footsteps sound past closed doors, even if no horse once rode past it to the sound of a war cry.

18 comments:

Charu said...

superb evocative post - I look forward to more of your Rajasthan notes... isn't it a nice feeing seeing Jodhpur town from the fort seeing the blue tones everywhere?

the first photo is lovely - I had something similar from ranthambhore fort... (didn't control the light well in that but I like it for the memory) -

bluemountainmama said...

that ox needs some food! :)

but, seriously..... beautifully written and stirring.....

Strays said...

There are times when i look at your pics and wonder if the text will do justice to them. And just when i begin reading, i think vice versa!

Smita said...

A riot of colours - Rajasthan must be one of the most vibrant states in the country

adi said...

waiting for the pictures and rolling meandering posts...

Linda said...

I haven't made it to India yet but is high on my list of places I must see one day. I especially love the blue photo.

Cathy said...

What a wonderfully rich, evocative blog! On a cold grey day here in the Midlands, UK, this is really making me want to gather up my worldly goods and TRAVEL!

Caroline B said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Fabulous photos - I've always wanted to paint in India, the colours are incredible.

Apoplexy said...

You are making a journey - best of my wishes

natural attrill said...

Thanks for visiting our blog!
I think your photos are amazing!
Toby.

backpakker said...

Evocative as always ..liked your second pic

Anil P said...

Charu: Thanks. It sure is quite something.

Bluemountainmama: Thanks. At times, lean is mean :)

Strays: Thank you :)

Smita: Yes, it is.

Adi: They're round the corner :)

Linda: You must. Thanks.

Cathy: Thank you. Nothing like travel to put the perspective back.

Caroline: Thanks. In Rajasthan the colours are especially incredible.

Apoplexy: I already made it. Thanks.

Natural Attrill: You're welcome. Thank you.

Backpakker: Thank you. If serenity is blue then the Ox picked the right corner to stand and stare :)

Shantanu said...

Nice pics! I was reading the latest National Geographic just before I began browsing through this post. And the mag has a pic of houses in Jodhpur, some of them painted blue (like the one in your pic). Apparently, the blue walls traditionally marked homes occupied by high-caste Brahmins. That's something I hadn't heard before...

adi said...

so instead of rajasthan, i got a sumptuous treat at an Iranian restaurant...

Anil P said...

Shantanu: Yes, that's true. I'll need to check the issue you mention. I never subscribed for the magazine because of its cost.

Adi: :)

krupa said...

wow..amazing post! Most pics in your blog are mind blowing!

Wendy said...

Rajasthan is truly a photographer's paradise. I look forward to seeing what else you may post.

Anil P said...

Krupa: Thanks :)

Wendy: Oh yes, it is. I'll be posting them over time. Thanks.