Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Journey Across The Sand Dunes Of Rajasthan 11

By Manuwant Choudhary

I would not like to write about Modi's 100 days or nights but rather about the women of Rajasthan and India.

But first, Rajasthani women.

They are not the `Bold & Beautiful' types but you can say `Brave & Beautiful'....and shy.

30 years ago we stayed with some doctors on a hillside overlooking Ajmer town and the view at night was simply amazing...with the lake shimmer in the moonlit night.

I thought to myself this must be the most amazing place to live in...

But my night was disturbed by some commotion until we realised that it was 3 am and the women of the house had to go downhill and carry dozens of buckets of water for us `guests'.

It was a horrible feeling to see our good hosts work so hard for us... so I will never forget their hospitality.

But not just middle-class families..all women in Rajasthan work...and long before mechanisation and hot-mix plants could see women build the roads in Rajasthan.

And the roads were like Hema Malini's cheek.

I wondered why women in Bihar don't build roads.

But women in Bihar don't even plant paddy !

On this visit to Rajasthan at the Jaisalmer Fort I saw this woman who was involved in some construction work.

She was still young..but rather tall and a strong built...partly from the hard work...but suddenly I see her face...and she was from another age...her skin amount of gold facials could get you that tone.

She was very shy because in just a second she moved a darting deer...

But women in rural Maharastra planting paddy in ankle deep slush amidst lush greenery is also a sight.

But if you want to find a beautiful bride..the district which even promotes the idea is... Kangra... in Himachal Pradesh.

On one of my visits to Dharamsala...on a winter day...I got a complete Presidential suite for Rs.300 only...and on the walls of the bedroom were these large portraits of Kangra women.

I thought it was just an artists imagination.

But I awoke the next morning with sunshine flooding my room as I had left the curtains open... the air was I looked out...I could see the snow-clad hills around amidst the pines.

After breakfast as I walked to town..I see a dozen pretty Kangra girls walking up..holding hands....and they just kept looking at me...somewhat hypnotised....until I realised if I was not careful..they would push me into the khudside!

Kangra women can be dangerous....

And I see this really old woman carry wood briskly up a hill singing `Sheila Ki Jawani'...such sights are even better than watching Isabelle lilt to a `Dal-Makhani' item number.

But yes I did see one pretty Kangra blue jeans and red top....a college student...someone who could work her way to the glass corner office in Gurgaon or London or even New York.

Driving through Rajasthan we did see a large group of men in their turbans and I asked aloud if the men here had finally started working and our driver replied promptly, "No, sir. Opium is being distributed !"

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