The desert occupied a special place in my mind in my childhood. It was curiosity, almost skewing towards fear. The almost ‘non-existent’ water, and the possibility of getting lost in the never-ending sand dunes were my impressions of the desert. Though the fear diluted as I grew up, it never vanished. In fact, I was about to drop Jaisalmer from my itinerary. But somehow, sanity prevailed and we decided to go ahead with Jaisalmer.
|The Sand dunes of Khuri at Dawn|
The plot was perfectly set. Our third marriage anniversary, intricate henna designs on my better half’s hands, and a fantastic 330 km road journey from Bikaner to Jaisalmer. The plan was to reach our destination, Mangalam Resort in Khuri, 40 km away from Jaisalmer, before sunset. However, we ran behind schedule, and had to satisfy ourselves with watching the sun set in the shadow of wind turbines.
We were expecting a plot similar to the song ‘Morni Baaga Maa Dole’ from ‘Lamhe’. The whole Khuri felt like an archipelago of resorts in the sea of sand. It was twilight, and the tourists were still riding on camels. We fortunately were guided to Mangalam, located on the edge of the village, and hence slightly peaceful. After mild (and failed) monetary negotiations with the soft spoken owner Jeetu, we entered the premises.
We felt like everybody was just waiting for us. The huge bonfire was set in the middle of the premises and the Rajasthani folk singers added magic to the wonderful environment. Since we were the only Indian couple amongst the guests, the folk singers replaced the main characters in most of the songs with me and Anita! It turned out to be the best anniversary celebration we ever had as we danced and sang around the bonfire. After a normal Rajasthani dinner, we were in for a surprise. The resort people had arranged a quick cake made of churma laddu to celebrate our anniversary.
|The Fire Dancer in Khuri Village|
With a smile on our faces and food in our tummies, we boarded a camel cart which took us to the desert within half an hour. I never knew I would be introduced to the desert on a starry night. The camel cart was moving swiftly, even though many people had boarded it. It was pitch dark and stunningly silent. Not a regular affair at 9 pm in the cities.
Finally, in the middle of the sand dunes, our cart stopped. It was a new moon night, but the zillion stars twinkling above made it one of the most beautiful sights we have ever seen. And ahoy, we simply put our beds on the sand (meaning no tent) and lay down staring at the stars. It looked like a congregation of beauties. The numerous shooting stars in the sky felt like naughty smiles on the faces of the beauties. Our hunky sand dunes were entirely smitten by the celestial aura. We were the only witnesses to this amazing love story. It seemed like the silence was a bard singing a song epitomizing this affair.
If it has to be believed that shooting stars actually lead to the fulfillment of wishes, then me and my better half have had enough for this lifetime. And one of them is to certainly come back to this wonderful place and watch the celestial affair from a new moon to a full moon in this lifetime, at least once! :)
|The Desert Sunrise|
Author Bio: A stock market analyst, the author is a dreamer who wishes to travel the length and breadth (and wherever possible, the height) of the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. In the spare time, would love to visit other places also across the globe. :) A die hard foodie who is open to all vegeterian options on the earth and follows Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma diligently. Finally, loves to pour everything while writting. He blogs at http://randomthoughtsamit.
blogspot.in and tweets @amit_hiremath
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