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Written on: Sunday February 24th, 2008

A journal entry from: No Fixed Plans

It's Neil's birthday, and I am on the train again!  This time to the blue city of Jodhpur, due to the indigo tinge of the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh fort. The blue houses were originally for Brahmins but non-Brahmins soon joined in, as the colour was said to deflect the heat and keep mosquitoes away.  The visit to the fort is a definite highlight of the city, and it has one of the best audio tours I have ever listened to, complete with interviews with the former princess and re-enactments of battles.  I also visited Umaid Bahwahn Palace which is a beautiful place but you don't see much of the palace itself as most of it has been turned into a posh hotel and they want to keep out the riff raff.  

I had a really cute room in a guesthouse underneath the fort, just 15 min's walk to the top, steep and treacherous on wet cobblestones.  At the fort, I stayed on the ramparts for sunset, and was taken aback by the blue houses.  When inside the city, you don't notice the blue colour so much bec it is just the walls pointing to the fort that are painted but from the fort the effect is tremendous.  I was slightly harassed by a man who thought we were soul mates bec was in the navy and I am in the coast guard, we were the same age and both non-married.  I guess that is all the criteria you need!  He took me to the Chamunda Mataji temple and we received prasad and tikka before I finally ditched him and enjoyed the spendour of the blue city in the sunset light alone.

  My room was also painted blue with a wonderful scene of a man and woman dancing along one wall.  Not 15 min's there and the manager was trying to sell me on a tour to drive to surrounding villages, esp to see the growing of opium poppies.  He told me he could get me some opium if I wanted.  I politely declined.  Later that night, I needed to get some more rupees on my phone, so I asked Sunny, one of the assistant managers.  A good looking young guy who walks with a pronounced limp and can't straighten one of his legs due to Polio.  He took me on his motorcycle to get the top up, and then gave me driving lessons.  As we entered a round about, I realized he didn't tell me where the brake was and I kept grabbing the clutch thinking it was the brake.    After yelling at 2 guys to get out of my way, I almost careened us into the gas bar, where that was the end of the lesson.  How exhilarating!  I am sure if I didn't have to contend with traffic, it would have been much more fun.

 After this excitement, he took me to the wedding of his cousin.  The couple were sitting by themselves on a stage, loud music was playing but no-one was dancing.  Most people were eating standing up, surrounded by very elaborate decorations like in a fairy tale, with the colours sparkling as the banners were moved by the wind.  Even though I had already had dinner, a plate was thrust into my hands and I discovered it is even more difficult to eat one-handed standing up, trying to balance a paper plate, rip off chunks of chapati, and scoop up the food into my mouth.  Eventually I went and paid my respects to the new couple, who looked alternatingly frightened and bored with all the pageantry.  But the bride was beautiful with all her jewellery and mehndi on her hands and feet.  The sari was gorgeous as well, glittering with gold threads woven into the silk. 


From Kathleen on May 22nd, 2008

Hi Val! I'm enjoying reading your journal... =) All the best, Kathleen

From Ruthless on May 22nd, 2008

Hey lady, it sounds so colorful I can almost see it. Love to read your stuff and see your pictures.

From paul t on Jun 11th, 2008

hey Val! good to hear from you again. You went underground for a while. Hope you're taking pictures of some of your sites. looking forward to seeing you again, someday!

From Nick N Rho'dudette on Jun 19th, 2008

Beautiful prose. You got a talent there. Ever thought of writing a story? Love from all of us.

From Resveratrol Supplement on May 23rd, 2009

amazing post! i am glad to read this.your post is really very interesting and enjoyable.nice idea to sharing.

From wrinkle cream on May 30th, 2009

hi your post is very nice.i read this article,its wonderful.