[Text and Photographs are by Ayush Kaushik]
A native Rajasthani woman in yellow Ghaghra Choli (native dress) with a partial veil over her head, passing by a couple of non-Indian nationals. The couple appears to be carrying sophisticated photography equipment in their hands.
The diversity of humans at Pushkar is beautiful, amusing, and celebratory. It is one of the most diverse peoplescape anywhere in India. You will see Rajasthani natives, families from cities, young bloggers, photographers, writers from metropolitan cities, wannabes, spiritual sadhus, local businessmen, hippies from all over the world and the sophisticated 5-star type travelers, all in one small town in India.
A photographer deep inside a camel farm away from the hustles and bustles of the Pushkar Fair.
Pushkar Fair is visited by photographers from all India. It is indeed ‘a photographer’s paradise’ as quoted by many photographers. But more than a photographer’s paradise, it is the land of utopia for a storyteller. The small town is full of stories, unheard of in other parts of India.
A young and happy Indian posing with the tattooed celebrity camel at Pushkar Fair.
The photogenic Indians love doing Bollywood poses, and other cool poses in front of monuments, with celebrities, and other things of intrigue and fame. No wonder Indians have a dashing craze for selfies and the country tops in the list of most deaths because of selfies.
A non-Indian national enjoying the camel ride through the small town, Pushkar, on one of the Pushkar Mela days in the early November.
Pushkar attracts all sorts of travelers from all over the world during the Pushkar Mela. Rest of the year, the town is a rather a peaceful lakeside market town with minimal hippie crowd. A town that goes early to sleep and wakes up early to pray to the almighty.
The dream world exists parallel to the real world. She came out of my dream world into my real world and I could not hold myself from capturing it at the right moment. She looks like the opulent Princess of India from somewhere in the history.
Two men (perhaps father and son) squatting on their haunches on the desert sand as the spectators of the vibrant Pushkar Mela organized every year for the selling and purchase of camels and horses.
Over the years, the fair has expanded itself into the entertainment and adventure sports industry with concerts, horse races, horse dances, camel ramp walks, stallion ramp walks, rural sports, hot air balloon ride, dirt bike racing, camel rides, camel cart rides and much more regularly organised throughout the 15-day fair. The duo is wearing a white dhoti, a regular lower in the western part of India, the dress which has its origins in the Indus Valley Civilisation. There is a quintessential Rajasthani colorful turban on their heads and a white kurta as the upper. They have also put on black leather shoes, out of fashion but may have been considered formal shoes at some time in British colonial period. I have seen Indian rural people putting on these shoes for as long as I remember. But nobody puts on these shoes in metropolitan India anymore. The older man is also carrying a red blanket with him. They may have to travel during early mornings or late night to their nearby village, and because of huge forests and barren land near Pushkar, the air is chilling even in the first week of November.
The world today is seen on a screen before one ever gets the chance to step out of the house. This is exciting and thrilling. It has created a new wave and a phenomenon of traveling to the explored and unexplored lands among the young humans all over the world, as professionals or amateurs. Every day more and more people are leaving their jobs to become travelers, and many of us are following our passion to the end we can pursue along with a side job.
A scene in which a team of videographers inexplicitly inspiring millions of young Indians to step out of their homes to travel to Pushkar to see the Western Indian culture and learn more about their own self and their country.
Poverty is a state of mind, said one politician.
But then another said that beggars are accepting card payments these days. Unfortunately, the first one is a mere Vice President of a dying political party but the second one is the Prime Minister of India.
Poverty is as much associated with India as the affluent and grandiose Rajas (Kings) of the past. Unfortunately, most of the Indians prefer to look around such photographs and keep on living their utopian world full of health and wealth. I recently saw these wretchedly poor children miles away from the thoughts of the PM, the opposition leader and the people of India, drinking the water meant for the camels, in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India.
A tractor driver looks on with fascination at the scene of two young Rajasthani women in purple and magenta Ghagra Choli (native attire) getting clicked along with a young Indian woman in western clothes by an Indian man apparently wearing hippie clothes.
The world is a fascinating place. Isn’t it? This photograph definitely proves it.
PS: Wait for Part 2 of the same series. Till then, check out more photos from Pushkar and read more about Pushkar, its charm and the spell it casts on travelers by clicking on the respective links.