Thursday, March 19, 2009

Safar mein dhoop to hogi

In mandiromein dhoop bahut hoti hai sir. Bachche kaise ja payenge itni dhoop me? Bachcho ko kaise ghumana hai, dhoop se hatana hai, main janta hoon. Aap samajh rahe hain na main kya keh raha hoon? Bhartiya paribar me kis tarah ka laj lihaj rakhna padta hai main janta hoon. Mandir kaise dikhana hai, mujhe aata hai. Aththara saal se isi kaam me laga hua hoon.

Thus spake Sri Dikshit. A very oily and objectionable pimp with slicked back hair and shifty eyes. But then his ilk is everywhere, on the streets of Khajuraho. Their target consumer, the Indian middle class tourist. The Americans, Italians, Israelis and Russians are outside their ambit. The rich ones stay at the high end resorts nearer to the airport and are mostly on a conducted tour. The hiker sorts in chappals have their trusty guidebooks and maps, often travel on foot and are unfailingly wary of local touts. Both largely unapproachable.

To cut a long story short, we got around Dikshit. And look where it got us. Into a lot of dhoop. Thankfully the kids were not wilting. Far from it. They were suppressing smiles and pointedly looking the other way and asking other questions. Like why the cow and the boar are gods. So much for Bhartiya paribar, parampara, laaj, lihaz.

Getting through all that dhoop, answers to some questions still remain in the dark for me. Like what's with the lion and the woman? And what is the woman knelt between hind legs of a dragon/horse trying to look at or grab? See pics.

One word. Khajuraho is fun. And totally worth it. If you are ready to live with beer @ Rs. 80. From the retail outlet, that is. Rs. 120 at the eatery. But those are figures all over MP. The saffron raj has made it tough for the tipplers.

The light and sound show is boring. Like they mostly are, anywhere. What's unique here is the guards won't allow tripods inside the gardens during the show, even as they'll let you carry a still camera, which will be completely useless minus a stand. For night photography, the best available spot in town is the famed Blue Sky rooftop restaurant, across the street.

From here we'd travel on to Bandhavgarh, in search of the majestic white tiger. More of that story on a later post. See also the updated flickr album, if you would.