This is my först time in India. I didn’t plan to go here. It just happened because I met someone who was going and I came along. Therefore I had to apply for an E-visa and then one only gets a 30 days stay. 30 days in this big country is like trying to find the finest sand grains on a sand beach. It is vast, it is diverse and it is overwhelming.
Most of the times I moved from point A to point B I took the train. Traveling with locals is one of the things I love and find so rewarding when it comes to experiencing how a country works. I’ve done a couple of 16-20 hour trips in sleepers. Leaving in the evening and getting there in the morning or lunch time. It has been … interesting. Not very uncomfortable but windy and cold. Windows cant be closed and Indians tend to always turn the fan on wether it’s needed or not.
Today’s ride was only two and a half hours from Jaipur to Ajmer. I was early at the railway station and since I’ve practiced a few times it was easy to find right wagon and right seat. Just moments before the train left the platform a group of middle aged men came and sat in the same compartment. Four of them next to me. Immediately one of them placed a cloth over their laps to surge as a table for them to use while playing cards.
This is one of the things I love about people in India. They are so resourceful. Problems are for solving. It turns out they have some governmental jobs in Ajmer, most of them middle aged and spoke quite good English which helped the conversation going. They really made me feel as one of them. Constantly trying to inform me of the rouls, including me in the jokes and I sort of ended up being a good luck charm for the man sitting next to me. Very pleasant two and a half hours. Before they got of the train we shook hands and they wished me a good journey to my destination.
The train ride was 265 rp. The tuck-tuck from railway station in Ajmer to bus station 60. The bus rom Ajmer to Pushkar 16. I was told that in this state women pay 15 per cent less than men on local transportations. Perhaps something for politicians all over the world to copy as long as there is a pay gap between men and women’s salaries.
When I got on the bus a young man moved over and offered me to sit next to him. He told me he had been to the hospital with his father, sitting next to him, because he is suffering from partial face paralysis. He told me his parents decided to have him married when he was in 11th grade. Now being 26 he had a 5 year old son and a one year old daughter. The road to Pushkar is beautiful, climbing up and down the mountain.
It didn’t take more than minutes for me to feel like home. The city inhabited by 20 000 people elevates 510 meters and is one of the five sacred pilgrim sites for devout Hindus. Pushkar is one of the oldest existing cities of India and lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake. The lake has 52 ghats where pilgrims and locals descend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters.
Yes, this place is crowded with tourists but the locals are extremely kind and helpful. I feel very welcome. I will stay here for a while.