I had calmed down enough to face the fact that I was about to travel to Rajasthan in ‘summer’. My followers would know, I travel to places at worst times possible. Even though it was an ill-timed decision of the university, my classmates were doing the happy dance soon after the announcement.
We had an early morning flight from Pune to Jaipur on April first and all the fools had reached the airport well in advance(they could barely contain their excitement) .The rest of the time was spent, restlessly touring the airport. Shortly afterwards, our professor, Miss Aarti drew nearer, squinting at us, repeating the announcement.
Most of my friends were going to have their first flight experience and they definately did a decent job staying calm. Although, things went out of control when a few of them started busting a groove right before the aircraft! Just an hour after then, we had already landed in Jaipur-the Pink City.
Lovely Mornings! -Blue pre-dawn skies and the birds drawing buoyant hues across it. Truth be told, the awaiting coach made us feel more composed and glad.We dragged ourselves into the bus and dozzed off, the moment later. We woke up, only to discover a Heritage resort- our stay , for a couple of days.The check-in process took some time ,but it was worth the wait. The exquisite interiors adorned with antique furnishing and elaborate carvings had made our day,already.The swimming pool at the centre, was a cherry on the cake!
After the breakfast, we headed to Jaipur City Palace, which was around half an hour away from our stay. Each one of us had done a little research, prior to the trip. That being so, all of us were equally exhilarated. As we made our way up to the palace gradually , we could see a glimpse of Mughal and Rajput architecture divulging.The gate itself beared witness to the royal designs.
Walking through Udai pol(one of the entry gates), led us to an open area,that had a hall-‘Diwan-i-aam’, right in the heart of the place.This area of the complex gave a sense of history repeating. Magnificient chandeliers, rifles, swords and spears on the wall were no surprise to me. All I remember, of this maximum city, the last time I visited, was this area.To the left, were the water vessels that had water from the great Ganges, they say. As much of a twerp that I am, the particular Ganges mention made me realise of my misdeeds, nevermind. I surveyed Chandra Mahal,the one with coloured glasswork and azure coloured walls, reflecting, not only the royal designs,but also ,day trippers hovering around with cameras. Ignoring my appetite, I followed my team to Mubarak Mahal that had collection of Pashmina shawls , Banaras sarees, royal costumes and prints.
As I continued meandering across the halls ,gardens,and the Mahals,I kept bumping into amazed foreigners that remarked ,”An ideal place for art and history enthusiasts! No?”and I couldn’t agree more.
By noon, I was super hungry and so were all my pals. Although the summer heat had gotten us, we had commonly agreed to try the street food . Too many options had left us baffled but we managed to treat our uneasy stomachs.’Pyaj ki kachodi’, ‘Chole Kulche’,’Daal Puri’,’Daal Baati Churma’ and the options went on…I was full to bursting and craved for a bed more than I craved for food,sometime ago . I strongly suspected that a few friends would be equally whacked. I couldn’t hold myself back and so I blurt out the idea of returning to the bus. The word went along, until all of us decided to leave the survey and get back to the bus.The consequences were acute and yet, like I mentioned, at that instant, the bed was the catch. On our way back, we had a prolonged discussion on carved marbles, mirrors and murals and the gorgeous latticework that had left us all aghast. Moreover, we spotted the most recognised landmark, The Hawa Mahal, only to have a glimpse of the floral motifs and numerous windows from afar.
Carrying my extremely worn out body, I crawled up my bed and passed out (yeah, almost that). Weird enough, I dreamt of my girl friends crushing me to one side of the bed. It took me 4 hours to get back to my senses and realise it wasn’t just a dream. Just a couple of minutes after I woke up, I walked out all ready for the dinner.
The dinner was a feast for the eyes and appetite,both. The menu had over 5 dishes spread including deserts.I was glad I missed the supper. Post dinner, a session of silly chatter followed by dawdling in and around the resort , was a pleasant end, for the day. A few of my buddies missed out on the fun, but doubtless their regret for that would eventually be as great.