Call of the Desert – Part 2 (Ajmer, Pushkar)

There is a strange charm about these small towns, they are warm yet unknown to you. One can be lonely yet never alone in these little towns spread all across the country. Finally we were standing at a bus station that hardly looked like one. With a warm rajasthani man sitting on a chair behind a table on a street and an old grumpy bus, whose almost every window was broken. Strange how I still love the mind bashing sound of these buses make me feel good.DSC01676

The next destination was to be Pushkar, where we would be resting for sometime and refresh our stomachs to the rajasthani hospitality. The ride was a bumpy one with the sun glowing at its brightest. Our every bottle of water was finished and even the ones that we had bought on a dhaba on the highway was over. Pushkar was still 50 KM’s away. As the bus started to climb down the valley from Ajmer to Pushkar, the gentle breeze made us feel good.

Pushkar a small town on the outskirts of Ajmer is the best place to go if you need to relax. As we entered Pushkar, I certainly knew where we would be staying, the same home stay where I always stay, Hotel Milkman. As the name goes its really the best I have ever seen. They have something for every traveler  Warm owners, with a great dog and tortoise, a rooftop garden and rooms looking over the Arravali range. Checked in to a room but since the AC’s were not working we were upgraded to a family suite. Sagar and Taqui took the bed while I choose the shower and headed to the rooftop garden to chat up with the other travellers staying here.

As the evening laid its arms open and was hugging the night to come we headed to get our taste buds in action. Strolled through the market, well a busy one, shopkeepers trying to sell everything or anything they can to the travellers. Our taste buds were really tired so we headed ahead to a small family run dhaba which serves only local delicacies. This small home run food shack is located on the extreme corner of the town away from the hustle bustle of the markets, overlooking the nice landscape of pushkar under the star lit night. Order was placed for the best of the local rajasthani food I.e. Sev ki sabji, papad ki sabji, makke aur bajre ki roti and the famous dal batti. We attacked the food like we were hungry for several days. The stomachs were full still the tongues were drooling over the ever famous rajasthani choorma, and we did eat it. There is a charm of having food under the star lit open sky and the food being served right out from the choolah, cooked over fire lot by wood. The aroma that surrounds its is just amazing, one can never afford to miss it. You would understand this if you ever tried this.

As I was explaining the rest about the rajasthani food, we lost any track of time. It was 10 already, we walked down the market and stopped to the sight boiled milk, its an appetizer  a must have. We headed back to the holy pond of Pushkar, the pushkar lake. We just sat there looking the lights reflect in the lake under a cool breeze. It felt as we were talking to our souls, it really made all of us feel at peace and the mind was at rest, as we had lost the track of time. Heading back to the hotel we tried out some sweet beetle leaf.

As the sun rose from behind the arravali’s, sagar was down with a bad stomach, half the day wasted making sure he is all right and gets well soon. As the hours were passing one after another, I was getting restless to head out. We ventured out on the same market street once sagar was asleep. We headed to a small cafe that serves great coffee, this is the Honey Due cafe, the owner here is really warm and only allows travellers to sit in his cafe, NO TOURISTS ALLOWED.  As we sat down with our coffee, Nadeem the owner told us about his philosophy of no tourists, it all made sense to me now. It explained the core nature of both the species I.e. The Traveller and The Tourist. He doest not wants to make out great money but wants to serve the real travellers, who can wait and are willing to taste different types of food, like Japanese green pot tea, or a french filter coffee. Like minded people have a mental frequency that meats DSC01610each other and now we had built a bond between each other, he then started to tell his story about the shop and how he wanted to expand yet stay in this lovely lazy town of Pushkar. Nadeem really is a man to look up to, high dreams (the ones he would complete soon) yet roots tied to the ground.

We set on towards the gayatri temple situated out of the town on a hilltop. As the sun was setting and we were almost midway on the temple stairs, the sight was the best one can have. In front of us was the mighty mountain on which rests the temple to Goddess Gayatri, on our back was the calm city of pushkar getting small as an ant as we climbed up, and the rest all the surroundings were adorned by the great Aravalli‘s and in the middle lies the desert. A scene no one wants to miss, small green patches in the middle and the sand of the desert still shining by the last ray of the sun. We just sat there to watch the night take the desert in her arms as the sun hid behind the rocky peaks of aravalli. This really was nature at its best, followed by dinner under the star lit sky.

I really was in no mood to leave this place but I couldn’t do anything else than packing my bag and taking the bus back home. Again I left my heart here with a promise to be back soon. The desert has been calling me again and my soul is craving to be back to land that offers this kind of diversity.

See you soon on some highway, till then ~ God Speed ~



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