Rajasthan Diaries/ 4: Bapu Bazar

Ever since I came back from my Rajasthan trip blogging has taken the backseat. Maybe because I am too happy these days. TOUCHWOOD. And happiness leads to writer’s block for me. I need some turbulence, some longing in me to come up with something good. Besides that, I am way too busy these days with my own place. And now I have developed a new passion. Cooking. WHATTT?? Oh yes, you read it right. So most of the time I am either drinking or cooking or cooking while drinking or drinking while cooking. Rest of the time I am watching TV and sending voice message to my best friend. And all the while I am waiting for summer so I can flaunt my treasure trove I have brought back from Rajasthan. So even though there is a huge backlog of posts lined up to be written and published, I am just too lazy to write them and at the same time feeling anxious and guilty for not writing them.

So anyway, back to the story. It was our last day in Jaipur. We were leaving that night for Udaipur. We were sad. I was devastated. I was in love with Jaipur. And it is needless to say that, love is that fucking bastard that makes goodbyes a million times harder. Even though a part of me was excited with the prospect of seeing another new city, I still wanted to stay back for few more days.

Our bus for Udaipur would leave at night and our checking out time was quite early in the morning. As I said earlier, we were on money-saving mission so we did not pay for another day’s tariff. Instead we checked out, left our luggage at the hotel reception and set out to explore Jaipur for one last time. Our first destination was Albert Hall Museum. I was not too keen to explore the museum but we had nothing much to do anyway. So far I have been to many museums but it’s still our very own Indian Museum in Calcutta that wins the first prize. Our tour to Albert Hall was short and somewhat boring. Not to mention we were pretty hung over from our last night’s vodka cocktail. So we chose to sit at the museum garden and dozed off for some time. Fortunately, the museum premises had a CCD outlet and after gulping down a few shots of Espresso we were recharged again.

This part of Jaipur is totally different from the other side of the city. This area is vast and clean and less crowded. It reminded me of the Red Road area of Calcutta. The famous shopping areas like Bapu Bazar and Johari Bazar were nearby and we started to walk in that direction.

My bag was already full with the crap I had gathered in the first two days. But that didn’t stop me from going berserk at Bapu Bazar. The one thing that we did during the entire trip with most consistency was walking. We explored almost half the city by foot. And after exploring Bapu Bazar and Johari Bazar we realized we were in an area which was not exactly a touristy place. We were in a narrow and overly congested local market place. And people were looking at us because of course we were the odd people there. There was a roadside stall where a large man was frying pakodas in a kadai. We were famished and it was past lunch time. we decided to sit on the sidewalk and have our lunch at the stall. Our enthusiasm was met with double cooperation from the people around us and within minutes we were seated amidst cycles and bikes eating chilli pakoda with kadi, and hot jalebis. And once again, I was in love with Jaipur. I was in love with India. And I was proud to be a part of this madcap nation.

And what I did not mention till now is one of the important reasons why Jaipur was so irresistible to me. The men of Jaipur. Yes. They are hot. They are good looking. They are respectful towards women, or so we personally experienced. And the way they will check you out will awaken the wild woman inside you. Here in Darjeeling I cannot step out of the house without covering myself from head to toe. In Rajasthan I flaunted. I flaunted what I so proudly possess. And the men’s eyes were slipping from my face to other places in such manner that I was over the moon. I hadn’t felt this sexy and liberated in a long time. So I flirted. I flirted with my eyes, with my smile, with my extra softened Hindi and my best friend was always there backing me up.

Bad news came when were waiting at the travel agency’s office for our bus. Padmavat was finally releasing (that was not the bad news) and Chittorgarh was shut down, for the second time in history. Both of our parents were worried and nonstop calling us to know if the situation was alright. Honestly speaking, we did not face any hostility anywhere. And the hopeless, twisted girl in me was actually excited to think that we were in Rajasthan when Padmavat was releasing. I mean this is the kind of things that you can brag about years later. Oh yes we were in Udaipur on the very day that movie released. And yet we were heartbroken. We have been practicing Ghumar dance moves since the first day hoping to shoot Boomerang videos at the fort of Chittorgarh and post them on Instagram. Even the previous night we were chugging vodka and matching steps with Deepika. So we couldn’t feel more disappointed at the bad news. By some unfortunate mix-ups our sleeper coach was at the very end of the bus. So for the rest of the night we were both up clutching anything to hold on to with dear life whenever the bus tried to throw us around like stir fried vegetables.
We reached Udaipur at six o’ clock in the morning. In western India the sun comes up late so six o’ clock felt like three. We checked in to our hotel which was, by god’s grace, was much better than our Jaipur’s counterpart. We freshened up and hit the bed, and slept off immediately.

To be continued

Read the other episodes here.