I remember leaving Jaipur very long, long ago
When I was too young to understand many things
Too young to understand how painfully the rickshaw puller
cycled out the weight to earn his decent living,
Too young to understand how good it feels
the soft and cool sand beneath my bare feet.
Too young to recognize that loving, careless whisper
of the neighbors meant that they really cared!
For many years, I longed to re-visit Jaipur.
Many opportunities came and went But a reason
to visit my birthplace never really came.
Though traveled the world across the seven seas
But waited and waited…For a special treat
And finally ….the day arrived.
Jaipur Literature Festival was a good excuse indeed.
Although no talent for writing, I proudly packed my bags.
Going to writers’ meet, I declared,
to hone my writing skills. Indeed!
Social meets I attended, famous speeches I heard,
but in between those meetings, few moments I grabbed
To visit those lanes and palaces and markets and alleys,
The pink city was truly a wonderful treat.
The ethnic mural paintings on the express highways,
The colorfully dressed native in different earthy shades
A colored-stone embedded peacock on a roadside fountain
those hand painted lamp-post in the middle of the streets.
The tasty pani-puris at every corner shop
A hot fried kachori made of spicy dhal
An assorted Raj thali at famous Choki Dhani
hot and sour briyani at every dhaba stall
Those drums and folk music and a native song
with six- tiered matkas they performed a balanced dance
Those shopping lanes they called it ‘Bazaars’
crowded with shoppers big and small.
Colorful skirts and shawls bed-covers and wares
lined the paths from stores it stared.
For hours and hours I walked those lanes
Every single trinket attracted my gaze.
I re-visited the people, the house and the lanes
Emotions, love, and feelings were all the same.
Amazing! Amazing! Amazing.
Oh My Gosh!
I wonder why I took so long?
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