On Friday, I took off on a weekend tour of Jaipur. The trip was driven by impulse. I, my friend, and her two nephews, who are more like twins and devil incarnates, drove five hours into the night. This was my second visit to the pink city in three months and I have come to love Girnar colony in Vaishalli. That is where my friend’s sister lives. The place is so green, the houses so well constructed, the roads so wide -- it’s like a patch of oasis in a desert. Not an exaggeration.

I wonder why Jaipur is called the pink city. The city hardly looks pink to me save for Johari bazaar near the famous MI Road. The bazaar is like the municipality market of any small town -- similar in size and pink in colour. History attributes the pink to the so called ‘brilliance of royal romance and Rajput hospitality’. Still a little disconnect again, but history is best left unrepeated.

My favourite haunts in Jaipur are the Kilol, Anokhi and Fab India outlets. This is the place from where all of Delhi’s posh summery cottonys go to the markets of Khan and GK. There is no variation in price though, but the variety is enough to make shopaholics go insane. And then I love MI road, particularly the famous malai lassi shops. The one for Rs 10 just suits my palette , and they serve it cold in mud glasses. The tikki and papri chaat are again unbeatable, just like the ones you get in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk area -- it has the right mix of curd, sweetener, green chutney. If you have not eaten in any of these two places, you wouldn’t really know what it is to savour the real delight of a papri chaat, believe me. I was never gol gappa- and chaat-oriented until I made the rounds of Old Delhi in my hunt for exclusive ethnic silver jewellery.

Apart from the hype, I am not impressed with the silver jewellery that I saw in markets here. Except for Amrapalli, the exquisite jewellery showroom in MI Road, you can find better ones in the lanes of Paharganj or at Dariba Kalan. So Delhi fares well on this segment.

Jaipur is a tourist hub. But I think the city calls for a lot of improvement. There are so many malls and multiplexes coming up in the city giving it a distinct look but what remains pathetic is the chaotic traffic and the pollution. Nobody obeys the traffic signals. It's only when you visit places like this or hear people from other places speak well about Delhi's neat traffic, [while we are still trying to come to terms with blaring horns and zig zag scooterwallahs and killer blue line buses who have no respect for lanes or speed limits] that we feel 'oh Delhi is a lot livable'! At least there is some semblance of order.

But what I am maha impressed with Jaipur is the easy availability of mitha patta. I always though northeast is where you get the best betel leaf of this kind. Thanks to the large Muslim population, kimaam, supari and banarasi paan are so readily available.

On our way back, we also discovered an old furniture showroom-cum-factory on the highway, some 30 km past Jaipur. The place was a good find. It had a mix of antique and modern stuff. I got an antique jewellery box for just Rs 350, enough to last till posterity and fib it was a gift from the one of royal families :). This trip was a lot about shopping. And it burnt a hole in my pocket.


PierreF said...

No wonder we had that Ratnagiri gas factory incident in the office for the last two days!!!!

PierreF said...

sorry.... PAST few days... ;)

Indira said...

ok Macbugger, brush up your past and ago(s) well first...

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