‘Twas a morning of organized frenzy and it turns out that one underestimates timely madness. I left two hours too early for the Jaisalmer bound bus and as I sipped on a few cups of Chai, I overruled the growing pestilence that were the Street kids, only to realise that it wouldn’t work. Manju, Anjali and Arun soon became friends and sooner still, friends I was trying to avoid. I believe it imperative to clarify the consequences of this forced friendship in the subsequent bullet points.
Numero Uno: I proceeded to allow each one of them to parallelize their market.
Numero Dos: Unnecessary excessive, could-be-avoided attention.
Numero Tres: I arrived at Jaisalmer with no more than Thirty Rupees in my pocket.
Such were the odds that accompanied my wait at the bus station. The ticket man finally called me in to issue my ticket after a few 45 attempts at the enquiry counter and helped me on this old, rickety RTDC bus. As soon as the bus embarked I slept carelessly for a good hour and awoke to golden sands speckled with green thorny bushes. The desert and I were just about to make acquaintances when his close cousin “Semi-Desert” decided I’d rather hang out with him for a few extra hours. An endless expanse of gold, green and blue persevered along my right and my left all the way to the dusty little town of Jaisalmer.
As an eventuality of the looong bus ride that I had decided to undergo, I suddenly found myself in good favour of the big jolly bus driver and was thus invited to ride in the front of the bus. With enough leg space and a much better view of the road that swindled ahead of me, I caught up with Mr. Mulliner and one of his many socially “adept” relatives. It seemed unreasonable to ponder over issues that concerned the future, “Coz everything was just so chill”. All that was to enter the illusive gates of my brain were the words that Mr. Wodehouse very generously bestowed on his books and anything else was just to be dismissed as soon as it appeared. Ah, if only God were that kind. Come lunch time and I was already thronged by a couple of “Hotel Agents” trying to get me to make a booking at any one of their very very fine lodgings. The return of Mr. Bus Driver drove all of them away but then in return I got the wise words of Mr. Bus Driver for the rest of our bus journey. It was with a saddened and heavy heart that I put down the tales of Mr. Mulliner and geared up to receive anything that Mr. Bus Driver decided to throw at me.
Strange. It wasn’t assumed that this challenge would reach a serious tolerance barrier but unfortunately it did. It was assumed that Mr. Bus Driver here would not be one of the “Chatty” kind but unfortunately that was the only kind he was. It seems necessary now to implicate what the previously mentioned assumptions and non assumptions morphed into. The Longing for HEADPHONES. Hmphhhhh. Nevertheless, I believe this experience left me with a little more wisdom and some very interesting fragments of speech.
With Jaisalmer’s close proximity to the border being a factor now, I had resumed the formulation of a mental note that addressed the number of military vehicles spotted and the fancy machinery that was tethered along a few. A dissociated number of convoys met the view through the barren landscape and well almost intensely, Patriotism took a hold of me and all that I managed was a mental salute.
The clock slowly pointing its hands towards the end of the fifth hour, on this fine Rajasthan Roadways bus, quietly indicated that Jaisalmer was soon to make its grand appearance. In the brief drive that the town constituted, I was amazed to see what constituted the town. A lucky stopover at the fort post sundown, led me to one of the most extraordinary views of the city. Quaint with tiny orbs of light emanating as an explosion from within the eye of the fort, Jaisalmer City had me starry eyed. An apology though seems to be in order as my camera was unable to make it for the click, but I have arranged for a perspective that would be sketchily close to what my eyes saw.
Courtesy: Marc Shandro (http://www.skyscrapercity.com)
I bid adieu to a sleepy city as I went rolling down the steep fort pathways into the darkest of the nights. Little did I know that the darkness would not be enough to veil the beauty of that night.
I was driving into Wild times, my friend.