I saw this goat on a street in Mandawa, in Rajasthan’s Shekhawati region, recently. There is something not quite right about it. When I showed these photos to a friend of mine, she exclaimed, “The goat is wearing a g-string!”.
But really, what is going on with its strange attire?!
What the...? Is your goat really wearing a g-string?!
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Although my mum couldn’t stay in India for a long time, she was able to spend around 10 days here recently. This meant that we could go on a short trip somewhere after my nephew’s wedding. But where to?
Since my mum had never been out of Mumbai, I had the whole of India to choose from. But, since India is such a diverse country with so many varied and remarkable attractions, it wasn’t going to be an easy choice. I wanted to her be amazed and in awe, and to see some sights that she’d read about. I thought about my favorite Indian city, Udaipur, with all its lakes and palaces. Yet, I also wanted her to be able to experience India away from the city. After much deliberation, I decided on the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, and Jaipur.
What convinced me of this plan was that my mum loves to paint and draw, and Shekhawati is full of old painted havelis (mansions). It’s actually possible to stay in one! Since the region is only three hours drive from Jaipur, this would enable us to visit some of Jaipur’s attractions such as Amber Fort and the Old City as well. And, I also wanted to take my mum to the magnificent Rambagh Palace to celebrate her birthday with an unforgettable lunch. [click to continue…]
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A couple of weeks ago, there was a very important function in the family that my mum even came all the way from Australia (her third time to India) to attend — the wedding of my oldest nephew. It’s hard to believe that I have a nephew of marriageable age. However, my husband’s sister got married young and had him when she was still a teenager.
Of course, the question many of you are probably wondering is, “Was it a love marriage?” The answer is yes! It was the third love marriage in the family (apart from my husband and his brother) and also to someone of a different community. She is Gujarati.
In testament to how “progressive” my husband’s family has become, the marriage took place without any fuss or opposition. The happy couple fell in love during college and she started making appearances at family functions over a year ago — indicating that she’d been accepted as my nephew’s girlfriend (although she was always referred to as his “friend”) and it was a serious relationship. My sister in law has always been rather broadminded though, and she was the one my husband turned to when he wanted to convince his parents to support his marriage to me.
The wedding was also the largest and fanciest one in the family to date. There was a sangeet, along with a reception for around 1,000 people held at one of the huge outdoor wedding grounds that appear side by side along a road in Borivali. [click to continue…]
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Here’s another reason why I love Odisha — decency is important there. Important enough to have a National School of Decency. Even better, it’s part of an International Indecency Prevention Movement. That’s essential, because we all know indecency comes from the wicked west!
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One of the most rewarding things about my job lately has been the opportunity to travel “off the beaten path” to rural and lesser known areas of India, and see how these states are harnessing and developing their tourist potential and presenting their cultural heritage to the world. I feel blessed and privileged to not only experience it, but also to do my bit to promote their attractions.
Late last year, I went to Bihar, and visited the Sonepur Fair and Bodhgaya. Last week, I was in Orissa (recently renamed Odisha) to attend an international conference exploring the state’s potential as a destination for Buddhist tourism. Similar to Bihar, Odisha is one of India’s poorer states, but is gradually emerging.
As many of you will know, my husband’s parents come from Odisha and until now I’d never been there (and indeed it’s been more than two decades since my husband has been there, although his parents often go), so the trip had extra meaning for me. As well as discovering Odisha’s important but largely unknown Buddhist heritage, I was also looking forward to discovering my husband’s heritage — it was long overdue! [click to continue…]
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