I still remember that night when I first reached Jaipur. It was a trip with friends, and we had booked our seats in a Shatabdi from Delhi. Even though I was tired, hungry & lugging around a heavy bag, I noticed the colorful railway platform of Jaipur. The coolies wore a beautiful pagdi & the sign at the exit said, ‘Padharo Mhare Desh’. I was too excited to be in a city that’s popular for so many things. I was planning to eat Pyaaz Kachori at least once a day, for the time I was going to be there. We were visiting Chowki Dhani the next evening. That’s my first visit to the place back in 2011, and for the first time, I tasted Daal Baati Choorma, Ker Sangri & Lehsun ki chatni. It was really hot in April. So, the 23 year old me couldn’t look beyond the navigation of the palaces. I loved how big they were, and heard everything the guides told us. But nothing more. And as luck would have it, we missed our evening train back to Delhi the day we were supposed to return. That brought us to the evening light and sound show in Amer fort. And since that evening, it’s become a tradition for me to attend the light & sound show at Amer whenever I visit Jaipur
My first trip to Jaipur back in 2011 taught me that Life has a way of introducing you to the best of things, if you promise to look.
In February 2013, Jaipur happened again. This time, I had decided to buy Bandhej, Mojaris, Lac Bangles too. I reached on Friday & roamed around everywhere in an auto, on my own – Albert Hall, Birla Mandir & City Palace. The city looked different this time with more places to explore, bigger roads & heavier shopping bags. The auto guy kept telling me stories & my interest kept piquing. He recommended a local place from where I bought beautiful mojaris.
The next day, near Amer Fort, while I was waiting for the light & sound show, I discovered a sweet shop that sold amazing pedas at my cabbie’s recommendation. This place wasn’t as popular as Rawat Kachoris, but it should have been. The pedas were really yummy.
Back in 2013, I learnt that wisdom don’t only come from books, but also from good conversations, only if you are willing to have one.
Jaipur kept happening in 2014 & 2015 and I kept discovering new spots. And at the end of every trip, I found something that I had not known earlier – a new cuisine, another specialty of Jaipur, old but warm places. And I kept making friends along the way. Over the years, I have also noticed the increasing crowd at these places and long queues at photo-worthy spots. Rawat Kachori keeps getting popular, and a lot of us have now found wholesale shops from where we buy our Indigo, Dabu and Sanganeri prints.
When I look back & think about these trips, I realise how different each one of it was. Why? Because I felt different every time. In Life, a lot of our experiences are governed by how we feel. If I could go back and change one thing, I would tell myself to worry less.
In 2017, I had shifted roles and became very busy in my office work. I had a big launch planned for 31st August that year, and it went off really well. It called for a celebration. The next day was a Friday, which meant a weekend trip. And thus Jaipur. I am not sure what it was – the month of September or the fact that I wanted a celebration; Jaipur had never looked so gorgeous. Every picture, I took. Every place, I visited. Every person, I met. They all made me happier. It was probably me & my outlook that had changed because I had just delivered a big project at work.
A large part of your feelings are dominated by your beliefs – of who you are & what you have done. I was particularly feeling a sense of achievement that Friday, and hence the happiness.
Also, people around you matter the most. My boss appreciated me a great deal that day, and hence the surge in my happy feelings.
After that trip in Aug. 2017, Jaipur happened thrice again. Because the place is a great stop over for trips to Udaipur, Jodhpur or Chittaur. Every time, I went, I liked the place even more. The pursuit of adventure never ends and leads you to new finds every time. Six months back, I came to know of two new places that I haven’t yet been to. One is Patrika Gate, of course that dazzles with colors & stories so much that whosoever stands in front, looks splendid too.
If you are planning to revisit or explore Jaipur when things settle down a bit, do save some time for the Sunsets from Nahargarh fort. Those are gorgeous – on of its own kind.
Jaipur, like life, is colorful – full of experiences & events – waiting to unfold only if you begin to look, remain open to explore, promise to feel good, and surround yourself with great company even if it’s your own.