Jaipur, or “the pink city”, with its trademark pink building and beautiful Palaces, is on every traveler's bucket list. A perfect blend of the modern and traditional charm makes Jaipur one of the most attractive cities in India. No wonder it is also called the “Paris of India.”
My visit to Jaipur lasted for a week. Though the trip was for business purposes, I wanted to experience the true Rajasthani tradition and culture. I opted for a friend's homestay in the heart of the city. The rooms were comfortable and charming. I was not staying in opulence. The home is designed in the typical Rajasthani style, with thick walls and a flat roof. The traditional artifacts and ancestral memorabilia added to the charm of the homestay.
Last night, my cousin Ira came to stay with me from Mumbai for a couple of days. It was fun having her around. I had asked for a simple dinner of dal (lentil curry), bhindi (ladies finger) and gobi aloo (cauliflower and potato). I wanted to relish the Indian delicacies from the Land of Rajas. It was simply delicious!
This morning I was woken up by the Azan (Muslim call to ritual prayer) in the distance and the bhajans (Hindu devotional song) next door. Where else could that happen? Only in incredible India. The perfect blend of religion, culture and tradition makes India the land of diversity.
My work has been intense and hectic. I have signed up with two different factories, and dealing with new people and businesses is a herculean task. One of our vendors, Sunaina and Sandeep, are like family members and are always by my side, giving me whatever help and support I want. As I explored a whole range of new designs and possibilities, the designer in me had a hard time making choices.
India is so intense, and my senses get so stimulated. The beauty and workmanship in each piece of jewelry is so stunning that I’m left speechless. I wonder if the craftsman or woman feel the same joy I feel when I see such perfection. They work in the heat, churning out new pieces of jewelry every day. Their routine work is pure artistry and their craft is hundreds of years old.
I can hear the call of the peacock at my door!
I go from this chaotic magic to a jewel-like city near the ocean with exquisite tall redwoods and blue skies, silent and sterile.
I feel grateful I can appreciate both worlds. But one thing is clear, the life force and energy I feel in India is palpable.
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