Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Flash 55 - Jaipur Iron Man - July 27, 2012

Hot as hell in Jaipur,
Outside, under a tree,
This man busily irons,
And is paid in an Indian rupee.

And if it isn't hot enough,
His iron has charcoal heat,
But he smiles and keeps on working,
His handiwork nice and neat.

Thankfully, my wardrobe, 
for the most part, wash and wear,
leaves me without a care.

I am participating in Mr.KnowItAll's Friday Flash 55

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ruby Tuesday 2 - A Delightful Indian Preschool - July 23, 2012l

My guest house shares space with a preschool here in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.  My
private entrance, in fact, is next to that the children use but, since they leave about
noon, I still have my privacy and I enjoy seeing them come and go.  I keep thinking
I should ask the teachers if I could sit in on classes so I can learn Hindi!!!  I love
these bright, colorful signs out front which are perfect for Ruby Tuesday 2.

I am participating in Ruby Tuesday 2
Add your bit of red to join in the fun.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Popcorn, Pepsi and Peacocks - For Little Vishu - July 22, 2012

Popcorn, Pepsi, and Peacocks

( For my little friend, Vishu )

Vishu and me,
Out by the tree,
Wait patiently,
As still as can be.

We sip on a Pepsi,
And munch on popcorn,
And hope, by and by,
A great peacock will fly.

We are told they will come,
Each evening at five,
So I have camera ready,
But no birds arrive.

Two hours later,
A branch bears the weight,
Of  a beautiful peacock,
And soon comes his mate.

Once darkness has fallen,
In trees all around,
We hear the harsh screaming,
Not a most pleasant sound.

But I am quite sad,
I saw no feathered prance,
Of a courting peacock,
Doing his dance.

I've five months to go,
And they sleep here at night,
So I'm bound to get lucky,
Perhaps at dawn's early light.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright © July 2012 Carmen Henesy. All Rights Reserved.


Vishu, the sweet grandson of Madhulika, my hostess, knows I am anxious to get 
pictures of the peacocks and, when he gets home from school in the evening, he 
will join me, scanning the skies.  The peacocks should arrive about 5PM but, thus
far, it is more like 7:30 and it is too dark, then, for good photos.  I am amazed when
these huge male peacocks plop onto a tree branch, bending it almost in half, their
long plumes folded and draping gracefully behind them.  Disappointed Vishu and I
give up, with plans to return another day.  Vishu knows that I like to write poetry 
and said I should write a poem about this.  "And, what should I call the poem," I
asked him?  He immediately came up with, "Popcorn, Pepsi and Peacocks" - so,
Vishu, here it is for you.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mellow Yellow Monday #182 - Splashes of Yellow in Jaipur - July 16, 2012

With the women and children at a friend's farm in Bhankrota, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

I am participating in Mellow Yellow Monday #182

Add your splash of yellow to join in the fun.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Camera Critters #223 - Quit Monkeying Around - July 14, 2012

A few days ago, I bought a bag of beautiful tomatoes and onions from a 
vendor who passed in front of my Indian home.  I placed them on a bin 
under the desk next to my bed, planning to make a sandwich later in the
day, Then, drowsy from the heat, leaving the front door to my room open,
to catch the breeze from my third floor location, I took a nap.  My back
was to the door.

I woke up to hear a rustling sound next to me on the floor.  When I turned
over, I saw a HUGE monkey busily eating my newly purchased produce -
so close I could touch him.  I let out a blood curdling scream and he grabbed
the bag and raced for the stairs.  I managed to grab my camera and head
after him, with my floormates, running out of their rooms.

The monkey remained on the next landing, allowing my photos as long as
I stepped no further.  Finally, tired of my papparazi intrusion, he grabbed
the bag and leaped on the neighboring roof, out of camera range.

He ate only the inside of the tomatoes

I am participating in Camera Critters #223
Add your critter photo to join in the fun.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Return to the Umaid Mahal - July 10, 2012

I wrote about this special heritage hotel in my blog of January 31, 2012 - -
after my three day visit there. I just couldn't resist going back again,
especially when I checked out the incredible off season rates. Ajay
Singh Shekhawat, the front desk manager, and I had become friends
so I called him to book a two day stay and was warmly greeted by many
staff I remembered. I checked into a beautiful room with a canopied bed
and gleaming black marble floor. I couldn't have felt more luxurious and

What was nice about this visit that I didn't get to use in January was the
lovely rooftop restaurant. Even during the brief periods of rain, it was so
nice dining up there, enjoying the coolness of the evenings. I just regret
that I never had an inheritance or lottery winnings that permit me the
luxury of spending the rest of my days alternating between life at the Umaid
Mahal or cruising on a Royal Caribbean ship. I'm really going to work on
that in my next life!

Ajay Singh Shekkawat, front desk manager

Keeping the brass shiny

Shrine to Hindu goddess, Durga, at reception

Lobby reception area

Lobby guards

Rooftop dining

Chai break with Ajay

Cloudy Jaipur skies

Friday, July 06, 2012

109 ( Degrees, That Is ) And That's Not Fine! - Saturday, July 7, 1012

Since my arrival in Jaipur on the 23rd of July, the temperature has been steadily
rising.  I am staying in a third floor room above my friend, Bharat Kshatriya's 
home in a nice residential section of the city.  Bharat has two tourism companies,
Unseen Rajasthan Travel and Tours and Unseen India Travel and Tours.  We 
became acquainted as bloggers and, during my last visit to India, he invited me 
to his wedding reception.  The end of January was a most comfortable time to
visit Jaipur.  Unless you have air conditioning, this can be a most difficult time.

The other night, when the thermometer hit 109 degrees, I became somnolent
and dehydrated.  Bharat and his lovely sister, Megha Bhavesh Chhatbar, came
up and, finding me almost unrepsonsive, brought my body temperature down
by wrapping me in ice water towels.  Throughout the night, they constantly
rehydrated me with glucose and electrolytes.  They finally took me to sleep
downstairs in their home which was much cooler, being on the second floor.
If left alone, I would have just slept and not had any water.  I had eaten
hardly anything in days.  My newly purchased smaller size clothing was
hanging on me.   I was weak and listless.

During that week, my computer, along with me, had also crashed.  Bharat
came to the rescue once again.  Amazingly, he had the exact Lenovo as I did
and, earlier, he had moved all my files to the D drive so I really had lost nothing.
He just did a little magic and, in a couple of hours, my computer was good as
new - except my microsoft office program was gone.  I'll have to let my brother,
who works for IBM, know about Bharat's computer choice!

Not a caw from this crow who seemed, also, affected 
by the heat

This "ship of the desert" didn't seem bothered by
the heat but no tourists were out for camel rides!

Just happy to have a feed bag

My friend, Shiju, does not like for me to post pictures of cows or elephants.  He says I
give people the wrong impression of India, that they roam about everywhere.  They do not.
However, in Jaipur, you will see many cows on the streets, wandering freely, belonging to
no one and to everyone.  Most are well fed as scraps are left out for them and animals,
especially cows and monkeys are respected.

Even in Mumbai and Patiala, I saw cows wandering loose.  I wish I could have gotten a
shot of a line of cows perched on a narrow center roadway median in Mumbai!  I love 
the cows and I would like to carry a sack of apples so I can feed them and get some
close up pictures of their faces.  Sorry, Shiju.  Lala would let me do that but he won't
let me get close to a monkey.

My heart goes out to the poor construction workers who must toil in this weather.  
They are often using the most basic equipment and doing back breaking work for
long hours.  I, recently, observed these men for a period of time and thought how
exhausted they must be when they get home in the evening!!

The guy at the top doesn't have such an easy job, either

So, even in this heat, life goes on.  People work, children play and go to school
( though the start was delayed a few days ).  People whiz by on their motorcycles
and I think the helmet law is obeyed better here than in many places - though
how does one get a helmet over a turban?