Photographic Journeys find true colour in rural Rajasthan
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”
Forget breakfast ! Take a packed picnic and get out early with your camera to capture life and the charm of a new day in any of the locations you visit.
We leave small, sleepy, Mandawa in central Rajasthan early and head westwards towards the Thar Desert watching the sun slowly rise higher in the sky. In November its still cool and the light turns to perfect. After a while, we stop at a small basic roadside café, or dhaba much used by lorry drivers. Lorries intermittently roar in or out of the dusty car park throwing up clouds of grit, as a backdrop to the colours of Rajasthan. The lorry is the ubiquitous 21st century carthorse of developing Rajasthan and supplements the bull carts, bicycles and of course the excellent Rajasthan railway network.
In a small sheltered spot there gathers at first a handful of women dressed in colourful sarees of vivid pink, lilac, bright gold and shimmering green. More coloured sarees arrive and the throng grows to over 20, and the chatter, laughter and hubbub of Rajasthan returns for another day. They sit patiently each with the day’s provisions and their working tools and wait for the gang master to arrive with the lorry, hoping to be picked for a days work in the fields.
Later, as the thermometer reaches 45 degrees around midday, the Rajasthan countryside, will be dotted with colourful sarees in thin lines or scattered randomly like colourful polka dots, as the women work the fields.
We move on, making away to the arid sandy golds and reds of the shimmering Thar Desert with its undulating dunes, rough-hewn stone outcrops its scrubby grey vegetation.