** April fools day falls on 1st April everywhere and is celebrated by playing jokes/pranks on each other. **
India is exceedingly rich in heritage treasures – be it monuments, textiles, culture or artifacts we have some of the most exquisite hand crafted treasures.
But sadly we lack the sense, pride, joy or the finances to preserve them for posterity.
So it’s not uncommon to come upon a monument in the midst of a garbage strewn slum or the walls of a pristine preserved ASI heritage site to be desecrated with ridiculous graffiti or streaked with the lushness of tobacco spit or simply marked out as a favourite pee spot; dogs n men alike. 🙁
Being a history and architecture enthusiast, my heart grieves at these transgressions. One such heartbreak happened at Shekhawati – a heritage rich region of Rajasthan (the desert state of India) which is touted to be the largest open air art gallery (in India or is it Asia?) courtesy the stupendous frescos painted on the external walls of 90% of the buildings.
They weren’t kidding!!! I roamed the streets in stunned appreciation and wonder, pausing to click a few snaps now and then. One moment I was ecstatic with joy while in the next I mourned the decrepit state of the buildings.
Some of these are humble adobes of tenants/owners who continue to dwell simply, unaffected by the legacy surrounding them while some have been preserved and handed down as family heirlooms like this one.
The best (or should I say the worst) was this old crumbling haveli that my homestay manager sneaked me into with several injunctions of being careful. Though the entire building looked it will fall around my ears any moment now, its soulful air drew me in to admire its trellises, arches and beautifully painted walls.
Stepping into one of the chambers, I was zapped into submission for the crimson painted walls with detailing in gold had scores of convex mirrors embedded within which multiplied images; a true sight to behold.
“It’s the master bedroom”, whispered my reluctant guide as I stood transfixed with conflicting emotions of marvelling at the exquisite workmanship while lamenting the ruin and crumble which will one day eat away this beauty.
And just standing there, I was hit by the thought that aren’t we such glorious fools to let our gorgeous heritage lay in ruin and waste? It seems as if we are playing a hoax on ourselves by letting this astounding handiwork (which should be treasured) be lost forever to ruin and obscurity!
Travelling is a fool’s paradise – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yell April Fool!, if you agree with me my dear readers.
What do you reckon should be a solution to this?
- Shekhawati is a sub region of Rajasthan, India and is connected by roads and railway network with the major cities. (Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur, Churu – are some of the cities falling under it)
- Nearest airport is at Jaipur – the capital city of Rajasthan.
- Do take the time out to notice motifs ranging from Hindu gods, British to telephones and trains and many more.
- Many ancient havelis have been revived into homestays by the owners. Check out the one I stayed in
Bewitching B comes up on the 3rd of April 2017
For the uninitiated, AtoZ challenge is a blogging challenge wherein one has to write on every alphabet from A to Z and post on all days of April, except sundays. Usually its better to devise a theme as it makes it easy to write the posts. Plus readers have a reason to stay hooked too.
The A to Z Challenge is created by Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out
and co-hosted by
Alex J. Cavanaugh of Alex J. Cavanaugh
Jeremy Hawkins of Hollywood Nuts
John Holton of The Sound of One Hand Typing
J Lenni Dorner of Blog of J. Lenni Dorner
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