Sunday, February 5, 2012

Pushkar: Changing landscapes of static terrains

I reiterate- Pushkar palpitates. It is renewed constantly. Its dynamism holds you hard. The Serene ghats on the holy lake and the breathtaking crowd on the temple walls, the chaotic markets and the silent alleys, days filled with hullabaloo and deafeningly silent nights- this city of contrast is way different from any other religious place in India.

This was my second visit. I felt as if so many things had changed! And so many exactly the same! 

The place has a mystical aura about it. There is something that you can breathe, experience but cannot narrate. You unbecome to become- the ever silent individual, stoical to all Mayik activities. The mystic feel transmundanes your Muladhara Chakra – the Root Chakra where your whole consciousness is based. It awakens your Kundalini, not giving you some miraculous powers, but rejuvenating the YOU within.

The soul penetrating silence and ear crushing noise is what Pushkar is all about. The alleys where there is a head on collision between material and devotional realms. Where you see the beauty and vulgarity of both realms and yet remain non chalant because you seemingly lose the power to judge. Where one is forced to question the whole concept of society and morality! Not as much the skinny clothes put your beliefs to question, as often is the saffron trade that you witness.

The glass skinned foreigner women enjoy temporary association with all brown/ tanned guys, often in the name of learning or healing. It is a sight to see. Ankle high draped sarees with ill fit blouse and a flowered plaint is something they so easily accept- to be like us. While I surely cannot be judgemental about their sincerity in doing so, I surely found them at peace when with their ‘Gurus’- the twisted spirituality!

Pushkar is the king of pilgrims, they say! And it is highly evident when you see God present everywhere. Houses have Gods protecting them at the doors. Ghats have Shivlings overlooking the lake. 

While the town sees much lenient morales, contrarily what you observe is a typical Indian colonization. Amidst the extremely drooping necklines, you see veiled eye lines. The children, shying out of cameras and parents wanting their children to be captured makes you feel AT HOME. Where the drains are open and doors generally shut. The wives give you a stern look when you persist on clicking their eyelashes through those veils. Where Worship is the occupation and worship alone is the way of life as every second house in the by lanes is a house of God- a temple! 

The experience is so different on the Mela Ground though. The snake charmers in their cankerous voice attracting foreigners to take some clicks in return of a few bucks, not realizing the dust they bring to their nation! But, the ‘Hellos’ and ‘money’ in the ringing young voices can always force you to curve your lips. 

The grounds are full of life- Life of a camel! You often wonder how on earth PETA manages to boast about its societal impact, when the horrifying procedures to tame the animal are being practiced as a routine here! It is a ‘No PETA Land’. Man cannot live in a free society- he either tames or gets tamed! Prudence only has biblical significance! Hundreds of photographers like us, educated and vocal about our rights, on the ground, while the camel is being forced, blissfully make pictures and return! Faulty Karma is not only through action, even inaction amounts to it!

Misconstrued Shaivism limits the lost Smaarts to intoxicating weeds and some trance music calling it ‘meditation’. This probably has attracted more blue eyes than any tourism ad campaign can ever do! If Jaisalmer has all those sand dunes to boast about, the MIRAGE called LIFE is all at Pushkar! Yes, one sees complacency that accompanies the saffron garb! Renunciation itself is a mirage. Long grown white beards and absence of footwear cannot kill the desirous individual that dwells within! Sanyas has different connotations. It is the ease with which one accepts and not what one rejects or selects. 

Pushkar has something for everyone. While photographers are happy with some greater clicks managed amidst chest pressing crowds on Ekadashi, a foodie would find heaven in the Halwai Gulley. A worshipper finds temples the destination and an occultist, those trance music and odd healing practices! An ardent observer will never get over the place as it has so many elements to offer to study. Several unnamed relations that you see wafting between different nationales for their cohabitations and at times, transgressing the conventions, at a level, which only spirituality can justify! 

If Pushkar lake holds the keys to ever essential spiritual bliss, the alleys and the market has strings to keep one attached to the world. But in both ways, you return visiting a higher orbit of your inner self. Pushkar, thus, is a place to correct your own beliefs about LIFE. It has experiences to enrich the mind, body and soul. Life at Pushkar is similar to things lying on the Super Market racks. You have to pick your own experience up. But rest assured, you will not return without buying some wisdom from there!