One fine day the folks in my team decided that we should go away for a weekend. The talks had always been there, but this time we had a more certain plan. Smita and Smera did all the planning and coordination. I didn’t play any role at all. It most definitely felt uncomfortable to depend on others to plan my travel. But the group was too large and too excited for me to get involved and manage expectations & demands. So I just paid my share and let things flow. Worked out fairly well.
We went to Mandawa in Rajasthan. I had never heard of the place before. Turns out it is quite popular – movies and ad films are shot there, it has featured in Outlook Traveller’s most recent issue, and apparently the place sees thousands of tourists during peak season.
The drive was long, but smooth for most part. I was paranoid about the pollen in the air, but the rain took care of that.
Vasu played some of my old favourite songs in the car, we laughed, ate, had wine, and six hours just flew by! I also stuck my head out of the window to gaze at the stars in the night sky. I have realised that doing this normalises the heart and lightens the smile. It is as if the wind takes the toxins away.
Bio breaks on long road trips always call for entertainment. This one was no exception.
The last patch after Jhunjhunu had terrible roads and was extremely spooky. But laughter usually takes care of all these issues.
The Hotel Heritage Mandawa was nicely decorated and had a cosy feeling about it. I did wish though that it was cleaner and better maintained.
|They had cow bells for key chains|
I was not very keen on drinking. But it was one of those times when you would rather go with the flow than be the odd one out. So I drank too. I was having fun until I suddenly felt like my senses were heightened and I could not relate to any of the multiple conversations going on in that room. So I went outside and sat for a while. The chill in the air after all the rain was slightly discomforting. The discomfort that you tend to like? That.
The next day we went out to visit some of the havelis around. Typical Rajasthan-style filth all around! But if you manage to ignore that, the laid back culture, quiet lanes, the frescoes, the deeeep dried up wells, and history can ensure that you have a good time. I did.
|I visited Ruhi’s ancestors’ haveli too! 😀|
It rained more in the afternoon. Quite the spoiler!
|While we hoped and waited for rain to stop|
I decided to come back on Saturday evening with Peter and Chandrika. The others were going to stay another day. I thought I could use the Sunday for some sleep. And I really CANNOT spend too much time with too many people even if I have enough happy feelings for them.
As always, I am glad I went. 🙂
|I am told I should get this expression trademarked|
Photos courtesy: Everyone
PS – NH8 sucks!