Pushkar, India

Sometimes, when I look at the adventures I have been on, the countries I have seen, the landscapes I have walked through, the cultures I have gotten the chance to swirl in, I am simply baffled and cannot help but feel incredibly blessed. Pushkar is a small city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, near India’s border with Pakistan. In some cases, even the most devout of Hindus wait their entire lives to make a pilgrimage to Pushkar, for the fact that it holds one of India’s few temples dedicated to Bramah; yet, miraculously, Rob and I made it there. Of course, when people ask you about India, it seems to be that the terrible instances get highlighted. Most often because people ask, “well, isn’t it dirty?” or “didn’t you get sick?” or “weren’t you uncomfortable as a western woman?” I guess it is also because the wonders of India are so very hard to explain. How can I rightly explain what it is like to watch the sunset over the Holy Lake of Pushkar, a lake infamously created by the tears Sati when her beloved husband Shiva passed away. How can I spell out the echoing song of the holy men, the soft tender cries of elderly beggars, the chatter of gypsy children pleading for a simple chapati, the call of street traders selling their catchpenny items. It seems close to impossible. Also, deeply personal. Somewhere inside, I constantly think to myself, why am I trying to explain the wonderment of India; unless a person is to experience it for themselves, they are never going to truly understand. But, of course I will keep on trying, muffling that small thought every now and again. So, yes, Pushkar is a facinating city; one that was truly worth the trip. Though it is very small in comparison to even Udaipur, a day can easily be filled by walking through the shops, trying to find ways to get around without walking near the entrance of the lake (where Sadhus time and time again ask you to come to the lake for prayer, which costs you-the tourist- as always- a pretty penny), eating vegetarian delights that you had no clue existed, watching the sun set over the lake from the many lakeside rooftops, counting cows, playing cards and drinking chai. Okay, it may not sound so facinating here, but its in these simple acts that you encounter so many things. For example, we wanted to send some dresses home to our nieces, so of course, we went to the post office. Well, what would take fifteen minutes in our western fast world, took half the day in Pushkar. It was actually fun though. We got to go inside the post office, spoke to the local postman who painstakingly took our dresses, wrapped old cloth around them and sewed up the sides for packaging. He spoke of the travelers he has met in his many years living in Pushkar, all while searching through piles and piles for a pen that could actually write on cloth. He was genuine, real and a delight to chat with. There were so many times that a normal task turned into an “experience”. This of course happened everyday on our travels, but in Pushkar there was something in the air that made every encounter heavier, more gritty and forever memorable.

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