March 26, 2023
Colours of the Desert
Page-Turners Photo Essay

Colours of the Desert

Sep 27, 2018

There is more to Rajasthan than even a million pictures could capture! Even after having seen and shot numerous photographs, at different locations and in varied contexts, I have still not had my fill of this fascinating land. To help you understand how I feel, I ought to perhaps throw this question at you: Would you ever find yourself not wanting to look at a photograph from a land that presents itself as a wondrous amalgam of colour, tradition and history?

The Pushkar Mela, or the Pushkar camel fair, offers an unusual opportunity to capture the moods and nuances of the desert way of life. Held in the town of Pushkar, during the auspicious occasion of Kartik Purnima, which marks the full moon in the month of November (or the month of Kartik, according to the Hindu calendar), the Pushkar Mela presents an unusual spectacle of colour and vibrancy that one has to see to believe. It is at the top of many travellers’ bucket list. And I can safely say that the event is not overrated, or it wouldn’t throng with over 4,00,000 visitors every year, gripped by its unusual allure that spans a fortnight.

The weather during Kartik Purnima is perfect: it is neither hot nor too cold. The vivid sights and colours and the hubbub of the fair are a treat to the senses. You forget everything about your routine corporate life, and the attractions of the city seem to pale in comparison. Here, one gets to see the true beauty of rural life. It is so much more colourful than anything you see in the cities or even abroad! It actually is very easy for me to relate to these sights and sounds, because I belong to them. This is my home state, after all! In that sense, it is familiar and yet something you have never seen or experienced before.

The shifting sand dunes of Jaisalmer are the perfect analogy for the everchanging landscape of Rajasthan. You can never predict what or who you will bump into at the crossroads. Nothing seems the same, and yet everything is. During my trip, I could feel the havelis speak to me, the dunes whisper to me and the wrinkles on the weatherbeaten faces of the locals take me back to another era.

The reason why I love exploring Rajasthan is that it is inexplicably exciting. I had not known which frames would present themselves to me on a platter and which would require some curation, but the photographs that have been chosen here would no doubt evoke a certain feeling in the viewer. Some of them were taken on the spur of the moment and required quick thinking—such as the one of the lady who has removed her veil to take a better look at something that has caught her attention. Others, such as the silhouette of a family atop a dune with their camel took several shots, as the timing and the position of the setting sun were important.

I hope you will enjoy looking at these pictures as much as I enjoyed clicking them