Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pushkar Fair - The Stadium

From the relative peace of the dunes to the Stadium and all the fun of the fair and then some.  The Ferris wheels towered over all, the strange juxtaposition of the old and the new. The noise of the fair permeated deep into the night.

This is India at its noisiest, craziest and at play! People are selling, entertaining, socializing, watching......

The competitions were totally and wonderfully silly. Best mustache - is yours the best twirled, thickest and longest? The pot race -foreigners welcome - though not I'm thinking expected to win - but win this blond girl did and I'm sure is now posted on many blogs and FB pages!

The best and longest competition was the dark v the pale male human pyramids. Aim to knock a clay pot suspended high above the ground off its perch. The foreigners plotted and planned their human pyramid with an engineers precision. We amused ourselves trying to guess their nationalities - strangely I think, not too generalize too much, but when away from their home turf people exhibit more and not less give away signals telling from whence they came. The Brits become more British, the Germans more German etc. - trying to cling onto who they are in a distant land.  Any way while the foreigners practiced and kept a focused eye on the end game,  the locals lounged and chatted - their wiry but strong sinewy muscles betraying the message that they weren't really taking this too causally.

The whistle blew and the clambering began. The Indians with speed and agility quickly climbed on top of each other and to a wild cheer from the crowd knocked the pot down. The foreigner's pyramid wobbled and trembled as it grew higher and eventually, before reaching its apex crashed and burned. With true fortitude, as the Indian team watched on, regrouped and rebuilt and to an equally wild cheer eventually unthroned its clay pot. All entrants got a certificate - and the foreigners a good over dinner story to tell.

The kid gymnasts child labour/exploitation of just families trying to eek out a living in the scrub of the desert the best way they can?

The closing day of the fair drew folks from far and wide----all dressed in their best, the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of the sari's complimenting the turbans in every color of the rainbow - it was time for them to party and us to leave....

These pics are pretty terrible being taken from our bus back to the airport - but you can maybe get the impression of the melee and the mass. The kids below are on top of a train - they were laughing, playing, jumping about - not a care in the world.......

This trip to Pushkar had everything, absolutely everything I love and admire about incredible India, an appropriate last journey before we return to Cali.......but be warned I will be back!!

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