Today in Jaipur

When traveling, I seem to have a strange destiny with drivers, or perhaps I always seem to find the crazy ones. In Kashmir, my date, just before I boarded the flight, was with my then driver, we had a quick cup of much too expensive coffee he insisted on paying for. He was aching to share his stories; and I always have an ear to listen.

In Jaipur today, I made my driver wait for three long hours while I worked at the airport, in retrospect I wonder why. When I finally boarded the cab, he asked if I was a blogger, casually mentioned I was a writer, and believed that Amazon was growing in India. He admitted he had Googled me! I was besides myself.

It often takes a worldly-wise and welcoming local to really turn your time in an unfamiliar city & I was only sadder I hadn’t left the airport earlier. Gaju was full of stories- humility- and an admirable lust for his choice of profession; he had picked to be a driver over chances at army-life, Deutsche Bank corporate life, and a more secure government life.

He liked the road, the  chance to meet a new person every day, the need to never be still. It seemed to me he had accepted himself- his ambition was mediocre to others he knew, but true to himself. And someday, he hoped to drive in Australia…

He had a city-pride that perhaps only Jaipur can inspire- and one that all of us from Mumbai should never forget- he showed me around the white marble, the new construction, the metro & dal baati that were slowly turning Jaipur too, into a tale of two very opposing cities…

Glass  facades contrast against Jaipur’s red stone and I wonder how much will be lost as time turns…

I am reminded to stay true to my roots. It is little surprise then, I come home and blog.

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