A king admires a palace & secretly wishes to build a similar/ better one in his own country and thus ends up building a beautiful, huge palace with many outlets to the outer world.
The search for a ‘home’ never ends. A home – that’s yours, where you find peace, where you can be yourself.
When Maharaja built the Hawa Mahal, it was in answer to the beautiful ‘Khetri Mahal’ of Shekhawati region. The final version came out to be exquisite. Not only it was a beautiful structure, but also a palace that was as windy inside as it was hot & humid outside.
Maharani & other ladies would often sit across the Jharokhas and notice the daily chores and activities from up there. No matter how much hot, it was outside – Hawa Mahal will always be windy, cool & comforting – as if the laws of nature cease to exist in this beautiful, sandstone structure.
The last time I visited Jaipur, I managed to click a few pictures of Hawa Mahal & a very interesting thing happened:
I was clicking pictures from the pavement from the opposite side just so I could get a better angle. A lady who was dressed up in a Rajasthani attire looked at me and shouted,
“Ae, meri photo mat keech”
I look at her, but keep clicking the Mahal.
“Ae tujko bola na, photo mat keech. Warna paise de. Aise mat keech Meri photo”
Now, I had to say something. “Main aapki nahin, Mahal ki photo le rahi Hun”
“To yahan kyu khadi Hai. Wahan jaa. Udhar. Yahan mat khadi ho”
And I was about to move from there when a shopkeeper intervened and rebuked her in Marwari. He told her that it’s not her road and I can stand anywhere I like. Plus he said, ‘she is our guest. You can’t talk to her like this.”
I was impressed with what he said. I have been going to Rajasthan for years now. And I always come back, impressed with the polite, friendly air of the place and the love that the natives have for others. This time was no different.
Not only forts and food, Rajasthan also offers friendship. You may want to have this one.