Camel ride in Pushkar

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Photo of Camel ride in Pushkar by Balaka Basu

Let me confess, Pushkar was never on my itinerary. My readers must be aware by this time that when we travel we never follow our schedule and often take detours. Interestingly the places we visit outside our itinerary are usually the most amazing ones.
The last day in Jaipur we didn't have much to do, therefore the better half decided to go to Pushkar. And he booked a cab from Jaipur to Pushkar and back. I was quite reluctant going to Pushkar, as after a hectic trip I was quite tired and just wanted to relax in Jaipur. But women propose men dispose. Therefore I simply had to tag along.

Photo of Camel ride in Pushkar 1/3 by Balaka Basu
Throughout the way I was assured that Pushkar Lake would be a visual treat. I was shown downloaded pictures to authenticate the claims. I was nevertheless not convinced. Once we reached Pushkar my misgiving came true. Pushkar Lake was nothing more than a pond or as in Bengali we call a “pukur” that populated my childhood neighbourhood. It was nothing but picturesque, and even the confident soul felt embarrassed.
From the lakeside we went to the Brahma Temple. I was told that this is the only Brahma temple in the whole world. The temple was unique. It was not like any other temple I have ever seen. The temple had idols of unusual gods and goddesses. This was truly the temple of the lesser gods like Kuber, Narad, Kalki, Vishnu and of course Brahma. The uniqueness was enthralling.

Photo of Camel ride in Pushkar 2/3 by Balaka Basu
In Pushkar ever year a huge fair takes place known as the Pushkar Mela. It is the largest camel market in the world. Pushkar famous for its camel races have camels everywhere and from here the great “Registaan” or the great desert begins. The camels gave better half- who was for a very long time trying to appease me- a golden opportunity. He suggested a camel ride through the sand dunes and instantly the trip felt exciting.
The excitement was short lived though, after getting on top of a camel for the first time in my life, I realised it was anything but easy. Remember the ordeal of Lalmohan Babu in Sonar Kella? I went through a similar experience in Pushkar. For the first time in my life I regretted laughing in that scene, and silently apologised to Mr Jatayu. The camel I rode was giving me nasty looks already.

Photo of Camel ride in Pushkar 3/3 by Balaka Basu

I was no better than Jatayu, may be worse. The hump where was I sitting was moving vigorously with every step. I looked at other passengers on camel back, they seemed no better. I was trying to move my body with the rhythm of the camel with very little success. The worst part was that the camel was farting non-stop with alarming noise. Throughout the ride I was so busy moving my body that I was hardly able to enjoy the view of the huge sand dunes. I was praying for the ride to get over. Once the ride was over I knew my agony was far from over, as I would have to spend the night being intimate with my hot water bag.
Pushkar was a mixed package of excitement and disappointment, but nevertheless every journey enriches your life with some experience and memory to cherish for the lifetime and Pushkar was no exception.

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