Friday, January 18, 2013

Pushkar---The Rest of the Story

As I have mentioned, riding in a camel cart is a lot of fun.  It's not comfortable, mind you, and you do a lot of lurching, but it is fun.

Everywhere we went at the Pushkar Fair, we were surrounded by vendors.  These ladies were trying to sell Nonie mehndi (henna for her hands) and bracelets made of camel bone and puppets and anything else they might have had.  The male vendors mostly seemed to have books on Pushkar, camel bone bangles, marionettes, chess sets (also made of camel bone and wood) and postcards.

And there were wandering musicians....

....and ladies shopping for foodstuffs, vegetables and a bobble or two.

These brightly colored rings are for putting on your head.  You use them to keep the big pot you place onto the rings in place while you carry it around.  Usually the metal pots contain water.

There were stall selling vermilion for making the tika (the forehead dot sported by Indian women) and for coloring the center part of the hair (a mark of a married lady, as is the tika).  Some of the vermilion powder was sparkly with the addition of glitter.  I'd never seen that before.

The cubes seen above are a sort of Indian sweet.  Our guide Ritu told us all about this one and I, of course, don't remember what she said.  I believe it is made of cane sugar and....uh....something else.  I do remember that Ritu thought it quite fine.  We, naturally, were not allowed to try it.  (Ritu was very protective of our touchy stomachs and would only let us eat and drink where she knew it would not offend our delicate Western systems.  I don't believe any of us had any intestinal trouble on the whole trip.  She knew of what she spoke!

It was a very festive time at the fair, and many women were out, shopping and looking, eating snacks and having a fine time.

And then we ran into the gentlemen who had been the finalists in the Best mustaches and beard in Rajasthan contest!  Really!
That's Ritu, our amazing guide, on the left.  Isn't she pretty?
 The gentleman on the very right was the winner, but I must say, the fellow in the left was quite a dandy and very proud of his spectacular beard and mustaches.  All three were quite amazing!


diane b said...

What a fantastic glimpse into Pushkar culture. They are all so colourful. You sure had a terrific guide to make sure you only ate the safe stuff.

Judy Wise said...

The men with the spectacular beards are like characters out of a fairy tale. Very fancy and intimidating. I'm especially fascinated by what appears to be a rolled beard that's been shaped into a pastry shape. And those impossibly bright colors on the clothing. So uplifting in a dusty climate.

Watched "Monsoon Wedding" the other night for the umpteenth time and thought of you. Travel is the very best, isn't it?

My eyes are on September. xo