“ He who binds himself a joy does the winged life destroy . He who kisses the joy as it flies lives in eternities sunrise . “
These were the word’s that greeted me as i entered The Laughing Buddha Cafe in the heat of the crowded baazaar’s of Pushkar and this looked exactly like a hippie cafe place. It was cramped on the first floor of a local garment shop. On the Menu was Mango Lassi, Pizza , Sandwiches , Cakes and lemonade. You could also feast on pie and coffee surprisingly close to what I had just tasted last week at McLeodGanj. The cafe was run by a resident there called Teja and he had two foreigner European girls as his helpers!! One was Patrice and the other one was a girl from Germany whose name I could not catch. I had hired a local boy Raja as my guide and I was soon rip roaring past the dusty by lanes, forest’s, bazaars, ghat’s and eateries on his bike. The whole day Raja and his bike were my companions .
Raja and I sipped a lassi or two at the Cafe and smoked what was possibly smuggled Camel cigarettes and what was anyway in huge supply here. The markets were littered with foreigners all looking to strike a bargain or two at kachori shop’s and hanuman temples as they mingled with each other. I looked down from the roof of The Laughing Buddha Cafe and then chatted to Patrice about my days in England .” So how did you like studying in the UK” she asked stroking her golden hair. She was pleasant on the eyes and what could I say “ You know i have been travelling for over a year now , I guess what I understand is that one should explore a place and then move on without getting attached to it . Otherwise you want to settle down, but then again how will you explore so many other places and destinations in the world if you do.” I remarked rather philosophically I thought. I was beginning to understand the proverb that was scribbled on the wall of the Cafe. I totally enjoyed this little place with it’s signs and painted images of Brahma who actually sat like a Buddha and had three head’s like he was supposed to but was painted blue in the colour’s of the Lord Shiva, with lotus and chakra in hand like Vishnu. An amalgamation of all thing’s spiritual .
Folk’s here believe in karma , that wrong comes back to haunt ua and that we must alway’s strive to do good . I then ventured out into the dusty by lanes of this ancient desert city. Kid’s played cricket in the street and dog’s and pig’s littered on the footpath . Old men sat on the veranda of their homes starring at the sky , passer’s by looked towards the sunset through the mountain’s which surrounded this dusty bowl.
The aarti bell’s began to ring in the air as I headed past the temples towards the Rainbow Cafe which was right on the terrace. I got perhaps the best view of the Sarovar and Ghat’s from this cafe . I ate a dish of Paneer with Chapati and Lemonade all for Rs 300. Then I started taking photos of the ghat’s as the sunset in. I used double zoom to catch the glimpse of aarti and the pilgrims. The view from this terrace was immense and I thought I could capture the essence and the feel of the cities spiritual side from here. The food was all vegetarian though but they did a less than adequate interpretation of the brownie sundae with vanilla ice cream and it sucked.
Raja finally waved and said let’s go back to the hotel as it was getting late . I was kind of lost in the midst of this city and it’s bustling ways. I asked Raja to make arrangements to head to Ajmer tomorrow since the fair was done and dusted today and we could be off together to explore the Dargah there.