Monday, February 26, 2007

A spoonful of Hippie makes the India go down...

So, this past weekend was amazing. I'll try to explain it, but this is going to be extremely difficult. In short, parts of it were wild, parts of it were confusing, parts of it were extremely frustrating, and others were divinely religious. Here it goes.

I'll start with the wild part. By virtue of the fact that a few of us decided to go to Pushcar, the weekend was crazy. Pushcar is located about 3 hours SW of Jaipur, and more specifically is about 30 minutes SW of Ajmer. In short, Pushcar is hippyland of India. The town is by no means a place to go if your looking for "untouched" Indian culture, but if your looking for a really great atmosphere with tons of young travelers and a seemingly endless air of festivity,Pushcar is the place to go. Continuing on the topic of "crazy," getting to Pushcar was somewhat crazy. Dealing with the Indian bus authority made Greyhound, which I formerly though to be terribly disorganized/inefficient etc., seem idyllic. And this leads to the confusing part.

Before we actually left Jaipur to go to Pushcar, I and a group of about 4 other students were supposed to be meeting one more person, Jake. Well, since Jake was figuring out if a couple other students were going to go with him to the bus station, he arrived late, and consequently missed the bus that I and the 4 other people had got on. Ultimately, Jake ended up getting on a bus that left right after ours, and we met him inAjmer, where we transferred to another bus for Pushcar. Here's where the frustrating part comes in.

Aside from the obvious frustration of trying to buy bus tickets and reading the seemingly encrypted Jaipur Central Bus Station schedule, all of our cell phones had been cut off, except for Jake's. Apparently, the phone company, Reliance, needed more paperwork to reinstate our service. I'm calling Reliance,Un -Reliance. Anyway, you might now be wondering "So, how does this factor in?" Well, Jake actually called me right as we were pulling out of the Jaipur bus station (only the outgoing calls were cut off), and essentially told me that he had just gotten a ticket and that he'd meet us inAjmer for the bus transfer, but he didn't know what time he'd be arriving. Since I couldn't call him back, he continually had to call mein order to arrange a meeting time etc. So, why was Jakenulls phone working, and no one elses ? Well, Jake got his phone a day after all of us. Since he too needed to submit extra paperwork, his phone was cut off the next day. Regardless, it was very lucky that off all the people who's phone was still working, Jake's had been the one, and a very fortunate one at that. So, this was the frustrating part. Here's thereligious.

Pushcar is the home of Pushcar Lake...surprise, surprise. Pushcar Lake is one of the two places where Gandhi's ashes have been put. The other is in a memorial in New Delhi. Regardless, as a result, this lake isextremely auspicious, and consequently all of the "waterfront property" in Pushcar is occupied by various white marble temples. I say "waterfront property" because Pushcar is located in the middle of a mountainous desert. However, in a very lucky twist of events, we got to see a thunder and lightning storm while were were there. After the storm passed, we wandered around the city. We entered a few of the temples, made offerings via. throwing in flowers, and eventually headed to theBrahman Temple. While we were by the water, the high winds of the storm were swishing around over head, and various flock of pigeons were twirling through the sky. The entire scene was surreal, and I have never felt such a spiritualconnection before in my life.

The Brahman temple is the only temple in the world that is built to honor Bhrama. So, we figured we had to see it. By this point the storm had passed, and the sun was setting. The entire sky before us was brilliantly red, pink and yellow. The best part however, was that off in the distance the storm that had just been overhead was now fading into thehorizon. What this translates into visually, is a brilliant sunset scene set against a lightning storm. So to recap, we were in the only temple in the world devoted to Bhrama , creator of the universe, watching a sunset mixing with a lightning storm, and in general experience an indescribable sense of spiritual connection...hence, the weekend was somewhatreligious.

Another interesting thing is that we found our hotel by chance. Some guy on a motor cycle came up to us, and said that he had a new hotel with roomsavailable . So, with a bit of skepticism we checked it out, and to our delight it was fantastic, and between the 6 of us (Jake finally met us inAjmer, and then traveled with us to Pushcar) dividing the 350 R's per night, resulted in us each paying a whopping 60 R's for the night.

All in all, Pushcar is a must see in India, and I'm planning on going back next weekend to partake in a celebration called Holi. I'm not going into what Holi is...check it out on Wikipedia or something.

Be well all,
when I have time, I'm missing you all,
when I don't, your all in my heart regardless,



holi wishes said...

Seems like quite an experience for you...and i'm sure you enjoyed yourself...thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts with us...and since the festival of colors is coming up do drop by my blog on Holi Greetings and enjoy all the fun it's filled up with!!!

Joel said...

Seth! I just caught up and read all of the posts. Amazing to hear like that the traffic is crazier than all the motorcycles in Thailand, etc. It's been a joy reading these posts - I find you to be very thoughtful and descriptive and clear in your words as you write and I am getting a nice little glimpse of India. Hopefully you will have plenty of pictures to share when I see you next. Peace buddy. Miss ya.

Morgana said...

You write very well.