My first memories of Ajanta are from my school history books, I still remember those faint pictures and that brief description of the paintings and sculptures. All those pages filled my little brain with curiosity and left me wondering, how can paintings survive for more than 1000 of years?
For so long I couldn’t get any opportunity to witness the most serene artistic expression of spirituality but last year on a long weekend I couldn't hold myself back.
Because Gulzar sahab had said,
Thoda sukun bhi dhundhiye janaab ,
Ye zarurtein to kabhi khatam nahi hongi.
I stuffed my bag with all the happiness and enthusiasm, booked a ticket to next train and left for Aurangabad. Now, you must be wondering how did she get a confirm ticket? That’s simply next to impossible getting a confirm ticket in India. Let me explain, Mumbai to Aurangabad is 6 hrs distance and there are many passenger trains on a good frequency. You will get confirm ticket a day prior to your journey.
Next I remember sitting not so comfortably in a typical passenger train to Aurangabad. The mixed smell of railway track and hot samosa early in the morning and big hoardings of Ajanta paintings welcoming us were signs that’s I’d reached my destination.
I rushed out of station and surprisingly no one was running! This was contrary to all the metro cities of India specially Bombay.