Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Friday, May 12, 2017

On To Jaipur

The hotel forgot the wake-up call; luckily Carol had set her alarm. We are taking the bus to Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. Sitting on the bus my head always reflects on stuff so I write it down.

A Bride Traditionally Wears Red For Her Wedding
 India believes in astrology. In the Hindu religion you are part of everything, of the total cosmos. You are an intricate part, however small and you have a purpose. You were not just born haphazardly but with a purpose in mind. Your former life dictates at what point you should reappear to better yourself. There are people in your new life that can help you or destroy you. You want to find the helpers, the people who will promote you to a higher level,  guide you in this life to reach the next level of existence. Hopefully your priest is one of them. Hopefully your astrologer is one of them. Your potter will make pots for you and will remind you when you should ask the gods for help. The pots contain offerings for the gods. Your priest will help you when your emotional state is not balanced. Your hairdresser will guide you through the neighborhood gossip and protect you from petty people. The houseboy or maid will make your life easy by helping you stay clean and the goldsmith will watch over your riches. You have your protection all around you, you were born into the large Hindu family, and all that is asked of you is that you listen. You want to get married? The larger Hindu family will help you, the astrologer for sure. He will analyze your astrology, the hour and day of your birth indicates to him at what position in the cosmos you were in when you started this life. He has studied, was taught by others, learned by experience that there are matches in the universe for you. There are natural fits that will make your life easier. He will make sure your wife (husband) is complimentary to you, not abrasive. A match made in heaven so to speak. A Hindu life is family, from the time you were born until you return to ashes. It's a beautiful life; all the religion asks is that you listen and do as was (is) planned for you. The gods want you to be happy, but the gods also can show their wrath if you do not follow the path that is chosen for you.
A Groom On His Way To Be Married

Astrology is an intricate part of your Hindu life. As the barest minimum, compatibility of couples contemplating marriage must be at least 50%. Marriages are arranged based on this compatibility score. There is just no use even considering a life partner if compatibility is below that score, even if you emotionally like that person. Dinesh has an arranged marriage and is very happy with his position in life. He is enamored with Poonam, his wife, and his 2 children are wonderful. Arranged marriages do work.

For generations the stars, the moons, the planets have been watched and studied. Astronomy, mathematics, physics, all sciences prove to Hindus that Hinduism is the correct religion. It all makes sense, so women or men ‘believe ‘and follow what has been taught. It is such large part of India, her culture, that India is not fathomable without a Hindu perspective.

I believe there will always be arranged marriages in India, marriages based on astrology. Not marriages based on just ‘love’, but on common sense and heavenly signs and guidance by your astrologer. Marriage plays a huge part in society, in India it seems paramount. Love grows later; it blooms after the logical, arranged marriage.

On the way to Jaipur, we saw a bride and groom posing for pictures in front of a building at the side of the road. We stopped and congratulated them, gave them gifts (money to her) and wished them the best. This chance meeting on the side of the road led me to the above write up. The couple we just met had an arranged marriage. Everybody was smiling, including the priest, bride, groom and total family, although the bride was very shy and somewhat nervous because her first duty as a wife was to go to her in-laws house and prepare a meal. Unfortunately we did not get pictures here.
Rambagh Palace Hotel

Our lunch stop was arranged by Dinesh. And only he could have pulled this off. An exclusive hotel, room prices start at US $1,000 per night, had a lunch room reserved for our group. Dinesh knew the manager, who closed his eyes and let our group (ragamuffins?) eat our lunch in comfort. Well, almost…we were given a dining room way in the back of the estate, but still we could walk by the ornate buildings and beautiful gardens. It was a nice gesture for Dinesh to get us admission to this gated hotel. The lunch itself was food fit for a convention.
Beautiful Gardens At the Hotel
There was nothing special to write about the food.

Convention Centre Where We Had Lunch

Another View of the Exclusive Rambagh Palace Hotel

We are on our way to Jaipur, the pink city, the city that also has an Astrological Park besides the ever so famous palaces and Maharajah dwellings. All those palaces that are all over Rajasthan, the land of the kings, were built to seal a marriage, a union between different people. But please remember, the maharajas were Muslims; who lived a different kind of culture from the Indian Culture. Those Maharajas had desert thinking, survival of the fittest thinking. Not that they did not care about family, of course they did, but basically, the individuals came first. The ME is the main focal point of their thinking. The view is that I, the Individual come first, before the rest of the universe. It still is common in the Muslim way of life. In their thinking it is them and Allah. The rest is expendable, in the end it is only him (her) that stands before Allah. 
This Is the Size of the Ruby Rock In the Previous Picture

Raw Stones

Carol's Ring
We checked in to our hotel but we also visited a jewelry store on the way. Rajasthan in the old Aravalli Mountains is a center for jewelry, rare stones, rubies, sapphires, emeralds,
Polishing Small Stones By Hand
Requires Them To Be Attached
To 'Holding Sticks'.
garnets and diamonds. Carol loves rubies. The darker the red stone, the more valuable. The prices were high, but still about half of what you would pay in Canada. We bargained hard with the seller, very hard. We halved what he asked for initially and finally Carol got herself a reminder of this India trip, a lovely ring inlaid with dark rubies and sapphires. I felt Carol made a good deal, the ring looks lovely on her.

Another Example Of the Beautiful Work Done By Hand In This Shop
There are many palaces in Rajasthan, there were many kings here. It is desert-like in Rajasthan. Maybe this was a deep-rooted reminder of their Saudi, desert based religion that drove them to live here, maybe even subconsciously.
Desert Surrounding Jaipur

Modern Buildings In Jaipur
Jaipur in Rajasthan is a nice town. When we approached Jaipur the section we drove through felt very modern, very clean, organized. I had the feeling that Jaipur was a model town, a show case for modernity. I felt only the privileged live here. But of course India is India, it is not a western, modern world, I think it is my western mind that was looking for the familiar.

On Dinesh's Street
Very Modern Inside Dinesh's House
The first Palace we visited in Jaipur, after driving all day was Dinesh's house. Dinesh lives in Jaipur and we had a drink and snack before we ended the day with a dinner at a restaurant. His modern house (he had it built) is his Palace, situated on a nice street, in a nice neighborhood. What is best, though, is the warmth that emanated from each room. Poonam, his wife, and Princi his daughter, were there to greet the whole group with open arms. I was touched. We had some chats, I especially chatted with Princi about her school and studies, and the time flew by. Princi is thinking of finishing her education abroad and Carol suggested she study in Toronto, we could certainly help out if she chooses that route (did you read this? Dinesh? Princi?). 
Princi, Dinesh and Poonam

It seems that when we travel from one town to the next it takes all day, but we do collect experiences along the way, impressions that will last us a lifetime. Thank you for inviting us to your house, Dinesh, for introducing us to part of your family, for feeding us, informing us about India and for giving us shelter and comfort. You are my Guru!

This Picture of Dinesh Feeding a Tree-Pie Bird Hangs In His Home

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