ENTERING IN OFF A LONG NIGHT BUS WHERE I HAD LITTLE SLEEP IN THE FRONT SEAT OF THE BUS. i SAT IN FRONT WEDGED UP IN FEEDLE POSITION WITH MY KNEES PRACTICALLY TOUCHING MY FACE AND MY HEAD SITTING ON TOP OF MY BACKPACK, WHICH WAS POSITIONED ON THE FLOOR.(AND THIS IS THE WAY I CHOOSE TO TRAVEL-ALWAYS AN ADVENTURE.
COMING IN AND OUT OF SLEEP, I WOKE UP SURROUNDED BY PURE DESSERT. IT WAS JUST ONE LONELY ROAD GOING THROUGH THE DESSERT WITH SMALL SHOPS EVERY 5-10 KILOMETERS. I HAD THE WINDOW OPEN WIDE TO FEEL THE HOTT,DESSERT AND TAKES IN THE SMELLS. IN THE DISTANCE, I SEE A HUGE FORT-THE JESELMEAR FORT THAT EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT. THE BUS STATION IS ONLY A FEW MINUTES AWAY WHERE I END UP CALLING MY COUCHSURFING HOST TO PICK ME UP. WITHIN A FEW SHORT MINUTES HE ARRIVES AND TAKES ME INSIDE THE FORT TO THE SIMLA HOTEL.
I WALK IN TO SEE A FEW GUYS SITTING AND HAVING CHAI. THE HOTEL IS NOT JUST AN ORDINARY HOTEL RATHER IT IS LIKE A MEDIEVAL CASTLE. THE ROOFTOP HAS A FULL VIEW OF THE CITY, THE ROOMS ARE LIKE STEPPING BACK IN HISTORY AND BEING A ROYAL PRINCESS IN A CASTLE. THERE ARE LITTLE ARTIFACTS THROUGHOUT THE HOME AND SMALL OPENINGS TO GET YOUR CHAI OR AT LEAST THAT IS WHAT MY HOST USES THEM FOR HA.
INSIDE THE FORT, THERE ARE HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, CRAFT SHOPS, BOOK STORES, TEMPLES, AND A PLEATHERA OF SHOPPING. IT IS QUITE TOURISTIC, BUT TRULY A HISTORICAL WONDER.
I QUICKLY CHANGE CLOTHES AND I COME OUT AND MY HOST SAYS, “YOU LOOK PRETTY.” I THINK, “OH, NO HERE WE GO AGAIN.” WE GO UPSTAIRS TO MY FAVORITE ROOM THAT HAS THE PERFECT SPOT FOR MEDITATION WITH A BEAUTIFUL WINDOW OPENING TO VIEW THE CITY. WE SIT AND DRINK CHAI AND A CONVERSATION COMES UP ABOUT LOVE. HE SAYS IT IS PAINFUL AND I SAY IT IS JUST A DISTRACTION.
WORDS OF ADVICE: WHEN YOU ARE SPEAK NEGATIVELY TOWARDS LOVE AND REJECT IT- THIS IS WHEN IT USUALLY COMES YOUR WAY. I WOULD ADVISE OTHERS TO JUST BE CAREFUL WITH THEIR WORDS.
I ENJOY OUR SITTING TOGETHER, BUT I AM GETTING ANTZY AS I WANT TO EXPLORE THIS AMAZING FORT AND OUTSIDE INTO THE REAL CITY. HE SAYS WE CAN MEET LATER FOR SUNSET AND DINNER.
OFF I GO INTO THE AMAZING JASALMEAR WITH AN OPEN MIND TO EXPLORE AND LEARN EVERYTHING I CAN. I AM SO INTERESTED IN THIS FABULOUS CITY. I FIRST MEET MY BOOKSTORE FRIEND WHO IS A BRAHMAN . HE DESCRIBES THE CASTES SYSTEMS WITHIN RAJASTHAN AND WHILE HE IS A BIT DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND, I KEEP ENGAGING AND LISTENING BECAUSE I CAN TELL HE HAS SUCH PRIDE TOWARDS HIS COUNTRY. HE TAKES ME ABOVE HIS BOOK STORE TO THE HOME WHERE THE PRIME MINISTER USED TO HOLD MEETINGS. HE EXPLAINS HOW THE MAJARAJA WOULD BE PRESENT IN THE MEETINGS AND THE SPECIFIC PEOPLE THAT WOULD RULE.
IT IS HARD TO BREAK AWAY FROM THIS MAN BECAUSE HE IS SO SWEET. THE REST OF MY DAY CONSISTS OF THESE PRICELESS INTERACTIONS. MEETING WITH RANA-A STRANGER IN THE STREET HE ASKS TO BE MY TOUR GUIDE AND I ACCEPT. HE TAKES ME THROUGH THE INCREDIBLE HAVELIS, the museum, and the rooftops of the haveli’s. The Royal yet real life is present in the museum and the glass shining through the temple glass is all hand carved. The oldest haveli’s have a tendency to be the best haveli’s- they are timeless in natural, pure form and state. Only stone was used to build these havelis as water and cement are too expensive.My meeting with my one of my favorite people was Raja. I am wondering the streets looking for some kind of chocolate(go figure) and I run into Raja in front of his store. He asks me to come into have some Chai and I hesitate because I am suppose to meet my host for sunset. I decide to quickly go in and sit with him. He is a jolly man with glasses and little hair. As I am sitting down and he is speaking, I have my spiritual energy going off every few seconds.
He humbly speaks about his business and his love for God. He says that his life is in God’s hands and he always keeps his God “close to him.” Literally, he has the photos in his shop and statue. Most store owners have an area of their shop or a photo for their God. Raju said he does not worry about his personal safety or the safety of the store because he is protected. I verbally agree with him and give him a look that I understand his deep connection. He then says that he can read palms and gently opens my hand. In his touch, I feel a connection with his spiritual energy. He tells me the seven different chakras: Buddha, moon, sukra, sunny, guru, mongal, and surya.Everything he says is exactly true. Now I know people have tendencies to want to believe things they hear, but being a Leo and being almost identical to my astrology sign-it is not that difficult to give a reading of my life.
I like the finer things in life. Money will never be a problem as I will have success. I had hardship when I was 25, but now it has passed. I am passionate loving to feel, touch, live, and explore-a passionate lover. A kind and giving person yet stuck in my own ways. Best wine, best food, best best best. He also gives me chants to recite for less confusion and worry because he says I have a tendency to over think and overanalyze-this is true.
What was beautiful was the spiritual energy radiating from his presence and the way I felt it-difficult to describe unless you know this feeling. It is special and is what keeps me living.
Since I am in a jewelry shop, I give Raja my cross to put in set it with black stones. He says he does not think he can find stones that small, but he will try. He side tracks off the topic and says, “You have beautiful eyes.”
“Too bad a girl like you would never like a guy like me.”
“That is not true and I do not like you saying things like that Raju.”
His eyes wonder off and they come back staring directly at me. He smiles and asks me if I can come back tomorrow for some more chai. While I am gone, he promises to work on getting my cross fixed.
Back I go to the fort where the guys are just sitting and chilling- I escape back out to meet Rana and George to see the sunset at Sagar Hill. Coming back again, the boys are in the same position sitting and drinking Chai(these guys remind me of Istanbul).
We plan on all doing some cooking together. When I say All, I am referring to my two hosts, the two couch surfers from Portugal, one from Germany, and myself. It turns out the girls are just interested in the computer and doing their own thing-selfish and not engaging in cultural exchange at all.
This is fine because I cook with L and V in the kitchen. First, we peel the garlic, then we chop the parsley, then we chop the ginger, cut the green peppers, and cut the onions, then we simmer, then we stir, then we simmer, then we stir. V and I make some chapatis. He is laughing at me because it takes me so long and I still do not get it right after all my efforts. We end up getting into a massive flour fight and I end up eating the flour before the chapattis-so fun.
After two hours of cooking, we finally get to eat-India. We are sitting on the floor eating with the German girl coming by to pick at the food, but she did not want to participate.. I realize how much I invest with my couch surfers and how I do not decline invitations to do things usually-I try and make it a priority, but I realize others do not reciprocate with this same philosophy.
They want me to drink beer and I say “No.” But I realize that it is St. Patrick’s Day so I decide to have a beer for my Irish side. I really have no interest in beer and never have. It is a rare occurrence I drink it and if I never had one again in my life I would not care for a second. Oh well, Happy St. Patrick's Day!