“Who all are there in your family?”, Meenakshi asked just before entering the house of our host Sumer in Lodrawa, Jaisalmer.
“…..My parents, my two elder brothers, their wives and two nephews.”
We rode 20 kms away from Jaisalmer city to reach this village. For these 20 kms we experience desert in true sense; tiny shrubs, gigantic cactus bushes towering well over 15 feet, rocky ground, no human or structure to be seen as far as the horizon, pitch black road rising up and falling down like ocean waves.
Sitting right in the middle of an ASI recognized archaeological site, the village was a kind of family settlement. Among 40-50 homes scattered over 5 kms of area where most of the families shared their common ancestry.
Some of the families were migrants from Pakistan. Children played with fossilised stones and meticulously carved stones were scattered all over. It was first of its kind stay for Artologue.
The day was shying into cool breezy Christmas evening. We were greeted by a yellow stone house with a central courtyard of mud.
Initially there was no body to be seen; neither the father, nor the brothers or the children. We did not expect women to welcome us as we were into a very traditional Rajput Rajasthani family. Women stay in the inner sectors of house.
Realising our feelings our friend and host Sumer explained, “ the brothers are off to work, eldest bhabhi (sister-in-law) and children have gone to visit their maternal grand parents, and mother and younger bhabhi are in kitchen.”
Well that answered all…
Sumer took us to the terrace. It was a flat terrace with no structure, open from all side and shaded by a young-adult banyan tree.
Sumer had the best Christmas gift for us. He pointed towards West and we went gaga over the huge scarlet red sun kind of stuck on a wind mill. And all possible camera’s started clicking.
Even before we both were done with the gigantic sun, Sumer pointed his finger to a distance and tried to show us a large army of camels heading in our direction. It was difficult to see in the dimming light. Besides that we had always seen camels larger than our size and expected to see just a few.
Soon Jey ran down and got his telescope. What we saw was unbelievable.
It was a huge trail of camels numbering nearly 200. They looked like rows of ants that we were more familiar with.
“Do you want to drink she-camel’s milk?” Asked Sumer.
Well we both looked at each other for some hint with nearly same reaction. Jey showed interest in seeing the camels more closely than in their milk. So we headed towards their resting place.
It was getting dark and we made our way through tiny thorny shrubs. As we approached towards them, we encountered a stench. Jey warned Meenakshi- “camels stink. You better be ready and do not complain.”
Well it was the most memorable evening of our lives. The Christmas sun setting and the full moon rising. They looked like reflections of each other. The sky was purple and pink on one side and orange on other.
We just could not stop clicking pictures of camels, sun, moon and ourselves trying to freeze the moment to cherish forever.
watch some more pictures from the Deserts.
All pictures in this blog post are clicked by Sumer Singh Rathore