Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Magic Moment in a Desert Fortress Town

The desert in India's state of Rajastan is a wide expanse of shrubs, sand, bushes, more sand and a few trees scattered about. It's not as barren as I thought it would be, but there's really not a lot out there either. Coming in on a bus we saw scattered villages, road side tea shops, shepherds with their animals, and lots and lots of land. Then the was the fortress, perched up on a hill in Jaisalmer.

It was a great time of year to visit the town as the weather was great with a breeze that cooled us all down in the late afternoons. We spent the night in a 800 year old building in one of the least maintained, and therefore cheapest rooms. Even with the crumbling walls and lack of hot water, I felt like Princess Jasmine in my castle-like fortress room.

The streets of the fortress in Jaisalmer are made for tourists. The slanting light is beautiful, the architecture is ornate, the people are kind, and you can buy some of the best souvenirs in India on the narrow streets. Plus, there are public trash cans so the streets are clean and well cared for. Public trash cans are a rarity in India and I was more than glad to see them!

One of my favorite moments while wandering around was around sunset when the light was golden and the air was cool. Everyone seemed to be out and visiting friends and family. We were working on getting good and lost when we saw an old man walking slowly and carefully with his hands behind his back. As we scooted around him, two little girls paused their tea party to come running up to him and slammed him with big bear hugs. The girls were smiling from ear to ear and so was he. It was so darling to see the love they shared in that magical light. It's moments like this that remind me how sweet life is and how much we should cherish it. 

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