LAST DAY IN UDAIPUR BUT I HAVE YET TO FALL IN LOVE. Maybe the lake is not magical after all. Or maybe I am not trying hard enough? Instead of spending time with people, I sat at the lakeside cafe for hours. With an order of 7-Ip (the only drink I can afford), surfed the net from my mobile phone, finished all my past writing, and read my Jhumpa Lahiri second-hand book. I can sit until my eye reddens, which is now my first concern. However, even when it is not raining, cool breeze blows through the lake, calming all the senses. Dragonflies dance above the waters while flight of birds scoot across the grey cloudy skies with their shadows reflect and fading below them. The cafe puts cool hip English tracks, its tiled floor lends it a Parisien feel. Udaipur is a city made for lovers, and also for those self-loving narcissists like me.
My eyes did not red yet, although I have been meeting many people with the ‘eye flu’, or viral conjunctivitis, probably caused by the adenovirus. The disease has a 5-7 days incubation period so shaking someone’s hand a week ago may just make you sick now. Highly contagious, the disease spreads even via airborne droplets when people talk.
Still with good visibility, I enjoyed looking at the brightly lit Jadgish temple, in celebration of the Lord Krishna’s birthday. This tall temple was built in Indo-Aryan architecture and has two marble elephants guarding its gate. Worshippers flock to pray here, but only after a day’s of fasting. I prayed as well, secretly hiding the fact that I just had three ‘kehlas’ (bananas).
The cafe where I rested and wrote this post while looking at the lake
The Jagdish temple are brightly lit for the Krishna’s festival
THE BAGORE-KI-HAVELI IS A BEAUTIFUL MANSION BUILT IN THE 16TH CENTURY, with a wide informative museum. Every night at seven, world class Rajasthani performances can be enjoyed with merely Rs 60 per person. The musicians are very entertaining, and they seemed very happy doing their jobs. The dance where girls balance a pot of fire on their heads was amazing. The one where women clink-clank their metal cymbals in synchrony was wonderful. But, the best was one where a lady balanced a pot on her head, danced around in circles, walked on glass and continued to add pots onto her head until it was nearly touching the ceiling. My eyes were not red yet but they nearly popped out in awe during the stunt.
After the show, I walked the now busy bazaar near the temple in search of the cheapest bottle of mineral water. It was then when an unlucky bug flew into one of my eyes, bring much discomfort and itching. At the end, I did get the red eye (that I silently wished for the whole day), not from a handshake, but from a bug flying with bad eyesight.
Women dance for their lives with a pot of fire on their heads
An amazing world class performance by an Indian lady balancing pots on her head while dancing around
Dhristi (left) is the one with red eye. Friends I enjoyed having chats with in Udaipur.