[Continued from Sunday, 22nd March, 2015]
The parting question I had asked at the end of my part - 4 article was: Why, among animals camel, an ugly, gargantuan, grotesque, desert animal is considered as a symbol of love?
Though we disagreed with the guide who said camel is the symbol of love among animals making me pose the question as above, he convinced us at the end with an explanation that sounded rather skewed wrapped in a spiritual veil. “Camel is an animal that is a symbol of love because though nobody loves the animal, it loves all human beings. Hence, it symbolises pure love,” declared our guide in great flourish, highly amused. We nodded our heads in agreement. It was easy to agree. No personal interest involved !
Back to the luxury of our Royal Rajasthan on Wheels (RROW), we headed to the capital city of Rajasthan, Jaipur — Pink City, City of Polo players, City of Jantar Mantar, City of many living Royals, City of Hawa Mahal, City of Amber Fort and more.
We disembarked at the station to the strains of Shehnai and the usual royal welcome. City was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh II, hence Jaipur, in 1727 AD. This is my third visit to this city, hence less excitement except when I was asked to mount the elephant to go up the steep road to Amber Fort which I had avoided on earlier two occasions preferring jeep ride instead.
During my first visit to Amber Fort, our guide told us that K. Asif, Director of the famous Hindi film Mughal-e-Azam was inspired by Sheesh Mahal in this fort which is embellished with circular pieces of mirrors in the ceiling and also the walls that reflected the images of the dancers, creating a fantasy world to entertain the king. No guide mentioned of it during my later visits — memory and interest too fade with time, I suppose. The city was painted pink in 1876 to welcome the Prince of Wales and this tradition continues to this day and the city is recognised as the Pink City of India. It has nothing...more