Stories from a wet desert – monsoons in Rajasthan (I)

14th August, 2013

the great Aravilli’s under a clouded sky – from Sajjangarh (Fort), Udaipur

“An extended weekend of six days; it would be a crime not to travel” – i told my friend. I was stuffing my laptop bag with a dhoti, two t-shirts and a kurta, preparing for an epic journey. It was 3 hours short of midnight, 3 hours short of the 66th anniversary of Indian Independence. I chose a saffron dhoti and a torn t-shirt for the initial phase of my journey.

“Where are you heading to?”, my friend asked. I am not sure whether it was surprise or was it sympathy for a nut case, in his eyes. My answer was a long silence and then “Rajasthan, first Ajmer and then i will travel with the wind. Don’t expect me before 19th”.  I went about with my packing.

Truth is, I wasn’t sure about my destination.

I was low on money and my car was not fit for a long journey. I was in a dilemma whether to stay back and tend to my car or travel? It was then, i read a tweet by a famous photographer/journalist about the monsoons in Rajasthan.

I never knew that it rained heavily in Rajasthan, and never thought that the rains made Rajasthan look so beautiful, like in those pictures she shared. Now that i know it, i had to go there. I loved rains, they breathe life into the child in me.

Cenotaphs of erstwhile kings, overlooking Jodhpur


A pack of cigarettes was the only luxury in my bag. I was not sure about my next meal or sleep. And knowing the sanitary standards of motels on my way, i would surely need something to suppress my hunger and relieve me from constipation.

At the bus stop, a private bus was revving up. I enquired for a seat to Ajmer and he told me that he had a cabin seat for Jodhpur. It was like a message from heaven. I decided to go to Jodhpur and enquired about the fare. He asked for 300 rupee.

I was surprised, the bus had sleeper cabins on one side and reclining seats on another side. “Are you sure? 300 rupee for cabin till Jodhpur?”, I asked. He was affirmative and i hopped on.

There was no seat inside the bus and the bus had started to move. I looked at the conductor and he asked me to sit down. I was surprised, there was no vacant seat. ‘”Which cabin?”, I asked him. He gestured me to sit on the floor! This time i was shocked!

By cabin, he meant drivers cabin. After a bit of argument and sweet talk, i finally managed to find an uncomfortable plank with some cushion on it (can also be called a seat), right behind the driver (pic below).

And thus my trip started:

5 days in Rajasthan,
3 cities from history,
3 nights of snoring on uncomfortable seats & bumpy bus rides,
2 nights in cramped up but decent hotel rooms,
multiple auto rides and long walks…

i felt Rajasthan!

This is a start of a string of stories. which was an experience beyond any words… stay with me, dear reader, for we have just opened the lid of a Pandora’s box.

read on here: bus ride to the monsoon hunt – monsoons in Rajasthan (II)

7 thoughts on “Stories from a wet desert – monsoons in Rajasthan (I)

    • As soon as i entered, the bus started moving. Didn’t have much option as the next day was a holiday and chances are that i wouldn’t get a second option. And again, it was more of a basic trip…little adhoc types, so went ahead :)

  1. Pingback: bus ride to the monsoon hunt – monsoons in Rajasthan (II) | mindblogging @ my will: a plethora of thoughts

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