For the evil twins, Advait and Naina
Pushkar, a place in Rajasthan, India. An alcove for tourists and a remedy for the loveless, lifeless and restless. Such an interesting place to write about, I can get high talking about it. The numerous stories that can unfold to an unknown scandalized eye. Yes! The quotient of not having a transcendental experience is equivalent to the presumptions one makes about India.
For most of the year Pushkar is a quiet town, however in November more than 20,000 people storm it for the famous “Pushkar Cattle Fair”, from a pilgrim to a camel dealer, they all hub the same place, devotees congregate to take a dip in the holy lake, sadhus descend from the Himalayas and people pray for nirvana to the sound of verses from the Scriptures that fill the air. In the stealth of the night there are traditional festivities, colorful dancing, and loads of smoking the hukkah.
Mahabharata, an Indian Epic (500 B.C.), suggests that one should begin pilgrimage to the grand Indian Sub-Continent from here. The legend says Pushkar was created when Lord Brahma, the creator slayed the demon Vajra Nabh with a lotus flower (specifically the Brahma Kamal, the lotus adorning the creators image). The lotus petals floated down to earth, in and around Pushkar explaining the famous Pushkar Lake amidst Rajasthans Desert.
Once upon a time there existed over 500 temples and palaces here, but the later century invaders destroyed most of them. One that still remains today is the Brahma temple. This is by far the only Brahma temple in the world, surprisingly since Brahma belongs to the holy trinity of Hinduism. Another interesting story that immortalizes this place goes on to say, that Brahma had transcended earth to perform a yajna (A worship performed by a fire sacrifice for all the Hindu Gods for a specific cause e.g. drought, basically a big affair). Brahma’s wife Savitri (The goddess of divine knowledge) was however not with him, and the yajna would be unfinished without her. The creator to compensate the absence of his wife, married a local girl to complete the performance. When Savitri heard the news she landed on earth, on finding a new wife besides her husband, was intensely angered. She cursed Brahma that he would not be worshipped anywhere else on Earth, but here. Strangely enough so it still is.
Pushkar –How it stands today
Pushkar is set out in a valley of roses (Indian strong smelling rose), but the streets reek of incense, cow dung, ritual flowers, cheap sandalwood and tourists with strongly perfumed bodies. Royal Enfield Bullet’s and Japanese 100’s with skimpily clad white skinned men and women are a familiar sight. Days go unnoticed, people act hip and the gods are only onlookers to this entire disregard for “Oh! So amusing” India congregation.
This place made up of narrow alleys, small gutters is a maze of it’s own. Small trinket and craft shop surround all lanes. In addition to the electricity, some still live by the halogen lamp. Over the years the foreigners have been amused/stunned/shocked by the essence that this place spews up on everyone who comes in its vicinity. Today café’s like Pink Floyd Café, Third Eye Blind, Garden of Venus,Adonis have sprung up here. Rumors vouch this place to have been visited by Roger Water, Paul McCartney, Kate Winslett and a few others. The strange rule to this place allows no alcohol, with an exception to beer. The outlaws do not include pot, hashish, weed. Chemical drugs are considered distasteful and demeaning to the gods themselves.
My first encounter with Pushkar was when I were six, since then it hasn’t ceased to fascinate me. I’ve met a lot of people here, most of them weren’t Indians and some of them never left. The scenes of a lake surrounded by hillocks on an orange/red evening, sounds of the bazaar, bells, goat bleats and a shanty of an Israeli restra linger in my mind as an image from the past, present and future. It’s a memory, it’s an obsession and it’s my only calling.