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Pushkar...camels, companions, conversations and... a camera

Pushkar.

 

I can’t remember exactly how Pushkar got imprinted on my mind. Of course, it was a usual quiz question in early years about being the town that featured a Brahma temple ( though I found the story and theory behind why there are generally no Brahma temples to be more fascinating ).

 

Somewhere along the way, I heard about the annual camel fair and that too stayed in mind. 

 

camel fair ! Wow.


For a kid growing up near a city, the thought itself was intoxicating. The few images that I saw clearly told a story of a riot of colour, a storm of dust to go with imagined heated tempers and magnificently quivering moustaches as herders negotiate over transactions or tell stories huddled over campfires.


Maybe, that’s how Pushkar came up on my wish list.

 

Who knows.

 

Anyway, this year, I signed up. ( With https://www.exposuresop.com - highly recommend it, Apratim Saha is a gem of a guy to go with !)

 

To give you a brief summary of the place – in the days leading to the full moon ( Karthik Poornima ), camel traders from far and near, flock into this small town to buy and sell camels and, I guess, to meet old friends and catch up on news and gossip.

 

There were four distinct attractions at Pushkar during this time to which people from the nearby areas throng. First, the ghats and the temple. Second, the fair, complete with ferris wheel and other attractions. Third, the horse fair and lastly, the camel fair.

 

We spent a little time at the ghats, walked past the horses ( some of them were gorgeous ! ) and spent most of the time at the camel fair.


Here are the first set of images of a typical day at the camel fair at Pushkar.


Tea over a morning campfire at Pushkar

Days begin rather early and predictably with a chat over a warm fire


Conversations over a campfire at Pushkar

As the sun rises, more fires get lit and more people join in


Breakfast at Pushkar

Next, the cooking pots are spluttering with energy and the young struggling to


The Pushkar camel fair

Soon, the sprawling camp is up and about


The camel feed arrives mid morning, the day's rates are called out to predictable cries of annoyance


Health fix for a camel at Pushkar

They figured from this camel's dung that it had a stomach ailment and the best cure was giving it milk. (Clearly, it's a bit like getting your kid to have their milk ) Everyone willingly lends a helping hand


This guy needed some lessons too which were promptly handed over -

love the way that everyone jumps into help each other


Gossip at Pushkar

Amidst all this, there is always time to talk...


Conversations at Pushkar

And, talk some more...


Conversations at Pushkar

Amidst camels, camel dung and sand ( tho it might have been far more disconcerting for them

to have me flat on the ground in front of them !! )


Camel herder at Pushkar

Sometimes, its the camels whispering into their ears ( loved that wisp of smoke there ! )


Photographer, camel herders and camels at Pushkar

Camels, camel herders and ...camerapersons...doesn't that gap look like an artistic eye ? :)


Training a camel at Pushkar

In the middle of all this, a few camels need to be taught a lesson too


A camel silhouette at Pushkar

I never really figured out why the camel was on a charpoy but could be some form of training


Campfire at Pushkar

And then the sun sets and its time to light those fires again


And, for stories to be told and retold again


Wishing you a very happy 2024 ! Hope the year brings you all that you have dreamt of and wished for and that the world becomes a better place for everyone.


Lastly, thanks a lot. Your reading my stories, your support and encouragement means a lot more to me than you would know :) - thanks !



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