I saw the fishermen launching a boat in the sea for the first time today. I have always seen a boat in deep waters but never a boat being launched.
Those six or seven fishermen had a hard time to keep the boat in balance. Powerful waves would come in and tilt the boat so much that sea water would enter the boat .Each time water entered the men would collect the water in a pail and empty it into the sea .But before they could keep the boat steady another wave would come and hurl water into the boat. And the process would go on for some time till the fishermen could push the boat deep enough away from the crest of the wave to the point where the waves would not break shaking the boat.
The trick is to push the boat into deep sea in between two wave breaks!
At dawn my sun is apocryphal, it’s earliest light a gash on the sea. I capture the gash but not the sun now too bright for my camera’s eye.
Some times the sun is a painful boil on the body poetic. At other times it is a low hanging fruit , tempting to pluck but there is a sea wall in between. Like boy Icarus my camera ascends and burns its waxen wings. It has such a pitiful fall while the ploughing farmer watches nonchalantly. Even its splash does not scare the crows.
The crows are disappointed that the turtle hatching season is over. They had such a magnificent season of turtle deaths, all these days!
At dawn, sun is apocryphal
Its light a mere gash on sea.
Night’s crows turn less dark
With rocks more glistening.
Men look made up in boats,
Bodiless actors in a drama.
They stand in heart of light
Stealing the light from fish.
On days sun is painful boil,
On blue sea’s flawless skin.
(The Queen’s Step-well (Rani-Ni-Wav) , near Patan in Gujarat, an astounding construction of an exquisitely ornamented step-well dates back to the 11th century A.D.)
The queen is in the well and long live the king. The queen would amble down the stepwell softly on her dainty feet. She would bathe in the well below while the sculpted gods and goddesses on the walls gawked .
They were leaning down to their own images in the waters below. Some day she would be one of them.
There are women in pink, off the umbrellas.I mean they are not in the umbrellas.
Because they are not royally dead. They wear their horn bangles on the arms. One of them is a bride, waiting to be veiled.
The women will dance for our beauty ,swirling like tops in their dark lehngas .They will make Bajra rotis on tongues of flame for their turbaned men.
(Desert safaris are organized here in Sam Village near Jaisalmer which include a camel ride and a night of food ,music and folk dances in the desert)
We managed to reach the dunes by sunset from Jaisalmer . The camels there offered rides but we politely refused. We did not want to offend them.
The camels looked their comic best against the orange of a sun.Their humps were too full with the stored oasis water .Their hoof-prints on the sands were smug.
Actually they do not care. Their masters sit on their backs who take care of the financial aspect of camel rides. So they put on their comical best.
Bada bagh , royal cenotaphs in Jaisalmer
The Big garden is a garden of cenotaphs . Golden yellow stone cenotaphs rise gloriously to the November sky as if they are flower trees.
Alongside are stately wind mills with their sullen faces , unhappy with the depressing wind. Surely they cannot be blamed for their low power output.
The rich green bramble by the cenotaph thinks it controls the wind. Accordingly it pretends to make appropriate movements over the stone cenotaphs but the royal dead in cenotaphs do not acknowledge them. They may like to say off with the bush, imperiously.
Kuldhara is a cursed village.The residents had left the village overnight and disappeared into the endless wastes of the desert. Ghosts now roam it’s broken streets.
The stones were all there ,in piles,where there had been houses.Even the stones are cursed.Those who build their houses with these stones will bear their curse.
A heap of stones
Stones make a house in the desert against sun , the cold and the rains,marauding tribes on angry horses.
Stones are not houses against time,against the night when time leaves a village a heap of stones ,a rubble.
(Kuldhara is a ghost village near Jaisalmer abandoned overnight, in 19th century, by its residents to escape the tyranny of a ruling Minister who threatened to take the Chief’s daughter by force)