Saturday, April 21, 2007

Pushkar, Rajasthan

Pushkar is a refreshingly small, sleepy little town in the middle of the Rajasthan desert, built around a pretty lake and surrounded by mountains. It was good to get away from the hassle and traffic of the big cities so we decided to stay for a couple of days.

The coming hot season meant there were few tourists. The only westerners were the garrison of neo-hippies who had found their way to Pushkar and never left. In a perfect encapsulation of the NH scene, we saw one dread locked individual cycle past us (it looked like a girl, but it's hard to tell from the back with NHs) with a teeshirt so torn that it was more holes than fabric. And she/he was cycling, you guessed it, a unicycle! Perfect.

Inevitably this means that Pushkar is replete with Reiki massage and Ayurvedic medicine shops. After three weeks in India, I'm left wondering how such rarefied disciplines as these can have evolved in the absence of much more basic concerns. Like fiber in the Indian diet for instance. How can you discover how to massage someones aura before you figure out that there is a healthy alternative to white rice and white bread? In *my* hierarchy of physical needs, dietary fiber comes way before my aura.

As you might have guessed, fiber is a big concern for us at the moment. We hope for an improvement very soon.

Hindu guru or accomplished neo-hippy? In this case a Hindu guru at the Brahma temple in Pushkar.

Offerings to Brahma, and a statue of the god in the alcove behind. Brahma temples are rare in India, despite him being the root of all other Hindu gods (at least in my basic understanding). This has something to do with his first wife restricting his worshipers to Pushkar Lake after he married a second time here. Hinduism seems full of tales of gods spiting each other. I guess it's inevitable when there's more than one boss. Monotheism seems very dull by comparison.

Pushkar's population is swelled considerably by our close cousins, who seem to inhabit all the best lakeside accommodation.

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