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Jaisalmer puppets

Jaisalmer puppets

Any visit to Jaisalmer is not complete without allowing yourself to get lost in the cobbled streets of the main fort or the narrow pre-independence ‘gallis’ in the main bazaar. Taking a left turn from the gate entrance gives you the first sight of the bazaar and the ‘Governemnt authorized‘ Bhang (processed Marijuana diluted and served with milk or juice) shop.

The dingy German Bakery opposite to it is not a very good option for a stop. A right turn from there takes us in to the heart of the local business community. The shops can range from barbers to spices to traditional shoes. The thing which really fascinates the outsider are the elaborate wall paintings and colours. The people of the Golden city are famous for painting walls for weddings, holidays or just good crops. The horde of advertisements just blend in to the religious symbols all over the city walls.

Wall writing Jaisalmer

All in all, not a very good planned city; but it’s this chaos which gives the beautiful rhythm to the place. For some moments there you tend to forget that outside these walls there’s the endless desert waiting for you.

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A few kilometers away from the abode of the Dalai Lama in Mcleodgunj lies the Norbulingka Institute, which provides necessary resources to preserve and develop the Tibetan arts and tradition.s It’s named after tand is a replica of the summer palace of the Dalai Lamas in Lhasa, Tibet.

Doll Museum, Norbulingka

Doll Museum, Norbulingka

I personally had always imagined Tibetans to be these small quirky little people who are used to living life on the rougher side. But, you enter Norbulingka and you feel sorry that you know so little about them. This specially holds true in the current scenario of the China vs. Tibet clashes at various places. While Beijing is blasting the foreign news media as biased, castigating the Dalai Lama as a terrorist “jackal” and callnig for a “people’s war” to fight separatism in Tibet, what does the Dalai Lama say about this? Of course
‘Stop fighting, live peacefully together. ‘

I respect his beliefs; the world needs more people like him. But what if your complete culture is in danger of being wiped out? What if you have to sacrifice your culture and your religious beliefs for the sake of communism? Well, I dunno about the sentiments of the Tibetan people right now (and I’m not the one for violence), but I would never allow such a thing happen to me in this modern world. I Will not take it hands down at least. Whatever the reasons may be of the uproar and the hatred, I just hope for an excellent Olympics this August at Beijing.

Here’s to Tibet, ‘The roof of the world’ and also to China, one of the most fascinating countries in the world.

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