Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Holiday Travails

A Desert Sunset

So I got back from Rajasthan the Sunday before last. Rajasthan was fabulous. Spent two lovely days in Jaisalmer and then headed out to a desert safari (also known as ride a camel in the desert for two days straight till your arse is sore; all for the glory of being called a traveller, rather than a tourist). Then a quick stop at Jodhpur to visit the Meherangarh Fort and the retiring rooms of the railway station, and onwards to Udaipur, with stops at the fantastic Ranakpur temples and the majestic Kumbalgarh Fort on the way.

Proof of Visit: Me at the Gadisar Lake in Jaisalmer
Udaipur was a lovely place, and after two leisurely days there, we headed off to Ranthambore to spot tigers. Alas and alack, the tigers refused to be spotted, despite me being up and about at 5am. I also learned in Ranthambore that it is not in trains and flights that one needs to fear children, but on safaris. No, no, no, I shall not speak more of that traumatic experience! Finally to Jaipur, where I morphed into crazy shopaholic buying up everything in sight, with Nike valiantly, but unsuccessfully, trying to bring in the element of moderation.

On the last day, Nike left early morning on the flight to Bangalore. I was flying to Hyderabad on work, and my flight wasn’t until later that day, so I wandered off to visit the Hawa Mahal and the Jantar Mantar. At the Jantar Mantar, a stout, moustachioed man comes across to me and asks ‘Are you local?’ I briefly consider responding “Non. Je suis Fran├žaise. Je ne comprends pas l’anglais’ but I’m no Kalki Koechlin so I just walked away instead. This man goes up to his companion (another stout but non-moustachioed man) and whispers to him while they both stare at me and then start following me around the Jantar Mantar, which was very distracting because one needed to really concentrate to understand what all those instruments were for, and one can’t concentrate very well when one is being followed around.

I was beginning to feel rather uncomfortable, though not worried (it was broad daylight, there were loads of people around, and police just a few feet away). Finally non-moustachioed man comes up to me and says “Can I snap with you?” Needless to say, I was taken aback, so I sternly said “No” and walked away. He followed me some more and repeated the question, and was rewarded with an exasperated “No”. At this point, I seriously considered showing him my phone and saying “I’ll ask my husband and see if it’s okay with him” – I’m sure that would have shut him up, but I didn’t want to use the bogeyman of a husband, and I was done with the Jantar Mantar anyway and it was time to head back for the airport, so I just left.

Thankfully, those two morons didn’t trouble me any further, beyond morosely staring at the auto. I was wondering if they would follow me to the hotel (which wouldn’t have mattered in these circumstances because I had checked out and was leaving, but which could have been dangerous if I was staying at that hotel for a few more days).  Thinking about it now, I hope he said ‘snap’ and not ‘sleep’, because if it was the latter, I would have been pissed off and would have been calling the police and complaining about harassment.

So that was my ‘Adventures in Rajasthan’ in a nutshell. I had a great two days in Hyderabad, and am finally home in Bangalore after what seems an eternity (five months actually). The weather is dreadful, and I just spent the last two days sleeping, eating, reading and watching two seasons of Full House because I’ve exhausted everything else on my hard disk and its taking forever to download Grey’s Anatomy.

That’s all for now, my dear, patient reader. Thank you for putting up with my nonsense. More shall follow soon.


Preeti said...

Lovely pics! I have been to Jaipur, but that trip to Udaipur & Jaisalmer sounds so much more exciting!
I loved your little adventure too. Heh. I can imagine reacting the same way! :D

Jyothi said...

Lovely pics! Loved the suset one, especcially! :)

Wow! Some adventure you've had! I'm all i'm-a-woman-hear-me-roar type bravado on the outside, but one instance like this usually has me pissing in my pants! You seem to have stood up to it quite well! :)

abi said...

two days on a camel! i'm off to hunt for a statue for you :D

sounds very exciting, though!

he must have said snap. if only this admiring crowd took the harassment out of the equation. sigh.

Abhishek Ghosh said...

nice touch with the headline there

Ramya said...

@Preeti: The pictures credit goes to the husband. Jaisalmer was my favouritest place in Rajasthan. You MUST go there some time - it was FANTASTIC.

@Jyoti: Welcome here! You know, I'm like you too - all bravado when it comes to talk, but quite the scaredy-cat when it comes to action. I'm good at ignoring people; but I find it tough to be aggressive and give it back. I'd love to be the woman who chases harassers down the street with her chappal; but for now I'm just the woman who glares and moves away. Long way to go ;-)

@Abi: Hehe...I would appreciate a cushion much more than I would a statue, for that feat. :p It was awesome though.....we slept on the sand dunes, right under a billion stars...until we woke up with sand in our ears, eyes, nose, mouth, clothes etc. Still, good fun!

@Abhishek: Hehe...I'm pretty pleased with it myself ;-)

Blessed~ said...

Just stumbled upon your blog. Looks like we have couple of things in common : NGO and Greys Anatomy. Try tv doom dot com - you can watch it instead of downloading.. :)

Ramya said...

@Blessed: Hey, welcome here :-) Which area do you work in, in your NGO? Ohhh.....and thanks for that suggestion!

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