I’ve been thinking of the fossil park. 180 mill years ago an entire forest stood tall. Now the place is barren, thankfully distant from Jaisalmer so that only the most intent make it there. We were the only people in the park when we went there—it was eerie and beautiful…One is a mere speck in the continuity of time.
And I’ve been thinking of the Patwa haveli. This madly beautiful series of 18th C carved stone mansions that took 60 years to create, a proud signal of having arrived, from a man whose thriving business in gems, opium, spices and silks spanned 250 countries. A man who’d financed the king-- thrice. The mansions are exquisite, sheer poetry in stone. I’d gone there all alone one late evening, just to look at the façade in the partly floodlit moonlight. Shut your eyes and it is easy to imagine neighing horses and placid camels tied up at the entrance, and a great deal of hustle-bustle as gold sovereigns are exchanged for the fine things in life… each mansion has five floors and two levels underground.
I stared at the pigeons fluttering at the carved galleries... and my anger evaporated, as understanding settled in.