Pushkar: Symbiosis of God, People and Cattle
Pushkar, a small town in Rajasthan, much smaller than the small, is the place where my mind frequents these days. Pushkar probably has not grown in its territories in the past many years, but it actually grows onto the person who once experiences the place. Pushkar grows onto you- is an apt statement, thus.
It is a super blend of both, the ethnic Rajasthan, which remains untouched by the modern world on one side, and on the other side, the westerners bringing in all lovely skins and blue eyes:)
This is a futile experiment to describe what I feel about the place.
Pushkar is a place where Hashish and Hare Rama are so intermingled that it is difficult to imagine Pushkar as a place without either of them. The westerners’ meaning of occult Hinduism is very evident in the culture as they smoke their own faith away to become Hindus by chanting Om Namah Shivae. Here is where Chillams and chanters are hung on the same shoulders, where kachoris- jalebis- Samosas and Laffas- nutellas are sold on the same street and are enjoyed equally across the strata. Where, every corner is a modern café playing the trans & fusion Indian devotional songs sung by some alien to Indian culture, but yet very sweet to ears- as it is sung with more devotion. Where, Anup Jalota, Vinod Aggrawal and Anuradha Paudwal do not rest :) The loud speakers fit across the city during Mela keep the prerecorded bhajans playing all the time!
It is a city of concurring contrasts. Bawas talking on the mobile and tourists wearing Om and Ganesha Tees- both trying to strike balance in their lives! Where, foreigners try their hands on draping sarees and Indians experiment with Pajamas and Kimonos. Foreigners sharing a cuppa tea with the traders on the ground and Indians looking for hygienic food joints! Here, every foot away you have a Shiv Temple as well as a food joint:) Serene Ghats on the lake on one side and on the other, the hustled streets. Veiled women of Indian villages talking with their highest confidence to the skinny clothed foreigners in their best possible communicative English is a unique preternatural fun.
Trading of camels and horses during the mela is another strong feature of Pushkar, which attracts many clickers across and beyond the nation. Men trying to tame camels and those cursing hoarse of the camels in response may completely freeze you for a while. A leg tied up so that the animal is in control and then offering it the greenest possible pasture is another stark difference you observe there. The men ultimately getting tamed during the trade when it comes to money- tamer than the tamed! How wonderfully can one articulate the process and elements of life just by standing in the middle of the Mela Ground observing quietly the transactions that go on. The definitions of Man and Animal may probably change forever post Pushkar experience.
Where Ellow (instead of hello) is the address for every one. The second word that you hear, if you are carrying a camera and intending to click is Rupee. Sometimes- Nail-polis & Liptick too:). Where kids may rebuke you if you click them without paying them their due CREDITS. They may humiliate you to the core (personal experience).
Pushkar palpitates. It offers a lot to learn. It offers you to worship Lord by drowning into the Lake with all your faith- ultimately to quieten your senses and to silent your mind. And then when you return to the streets, the market and people know it well to pull you back to the Sansaar and Maya by offering you a whole variety of food items, colourful clothes, silver jewelry and vibrant coloured plastic toys. While you may have the maximum number of saffron clad bearded individuals on the streets, the longing to find one renounced soul may give you a good run. Where the shop keepers may behave friendly and support you, but the Sadhus may not necessarily. Where Pandits are keen on taking you through rituals, but your mind just wants you to be sitting on the Ghats forever- deciphering Pushkar and its elements.