At the dawn of the year, I set out on a journey. The baggage was heavy, the road was long. Minutes seemed like hours, hours lasted a lifetime. Familiar faces were left behind, the world seemed alien, I was heading to university.
Dramatic beginning: √
I actually simply flew to the national capital of New Delhi and then took a five hour drive to a small, teeny weeny town in the state of Rajasthan, named Pilani. In this blog, Imma pep up my uni journey and tell ye lovelies about the road trip from Delhi to Pilani, involving some rather bomb displays of nature….
This yellow bed of flowers is a field of mustard crop that I came across while driving inter-state. Mustard is one of the chief crops grown in the north of India so if you’re ever driving through that part of the country, a scene such as this one here will be a common sight, especially in the winter months. In India, mustard is quite a popular condiment. A lot of cooking here is done in mustard oil and states in the north of India even have a dish made out of mustard leaves called ‘Sarson ka Saag’ which is basically a green gravy that’s eaten with roti or flatbread made out of maize flour.
Mustard fields are used as a symbol of romance in some of the most popular Bollywood films. Now, mustard as a condiment doesn’t exactly scream romance to me. I mean, it does have a pungent smell so if anyone were to court me with mustard, I’d run a mile….Bollywood either has a funny idea of what’s romantic or they simply played with the bright yellow colour.
But but but, Coldplay wrote a song about unrequited love titled ‘Yellow’….
How romantic, get a grip, Bollywood!
Not far from the mustard fields, we came across this off-duty ice cream cart at a tea stall. The whole idea of a bicycle powered ice-cream cart thrilled my dad:) Let’s talk a bit about the milk brand Amul that you see printed on the cart. Amul is literally the pride of our country. It’s a 100% local milk brand started in 1946 by Dr Verghese Kurien and Mr Tribhuvandas Patel. Dr Kurien’s work with the company earned him the title of the ‘Father of White Revolution’ in India, owing to the revolutionising of the milk industry in the country. Today, Amul is a massive brand and as the company’s slogan says, it is truly the taste of India.
Amul has a very cute mascot. It’s a little girl in a polka-dotted dress who likes making milk-based puns in the Amul ads that come in the newspaper.
Now puns are great but Amul puns are definitely my cup of tea:)
I love how winter makes everything so aesthetic in a very raw manner. There’s a lot of beauty in barren surroundings:)
These are two temple gates that I came across while approaching Pilani. Now, we saw a series of fields and vegetation above as we were passing through Delhi and the northern state of Haryana but when you enter the state of Rajasthan, you’re gonna be welcomed by a full blown desert. This was my first visit to a desert town and the whole experience was amazing. It’s a world apart from the metro terrain and coming across pretty architecture such as these gates really enhances the view.
Ain’ no desert without a camel so Imma bring ya two. hehe. So this was the first time I’ve seen a camel pull a cart and honestly, it was unique. Let’s hear it for the heroes of the desert, folks:)
P.S. Aren’t camels just adorable?
Here’s another really pretty temple that I came across on the road. I love the colourful miniature sculptures and the lotus like dome!
Moving on, we’re gonna enter the town of Pilani. I won’t be covering my university in this post but Imma get ye up close and personal with my uni town.
This was the first thing I saw on entering Pilani. It’s a massive statue of the Hindu God Shiva in a temple premise called Birla Talab. The size and the architecture was truly mesmerising and it was a strong forst impression.
This is the statue of Lord Shiva’s divine bull Nandi in the same premises.
This is a glimpse of the streets of Pilani. In the state of Rajasthan, almost all the buildings have classic Indian architecture which is a fresh change from seeing the high rise stuff in metros. It gives a very vintage vibe and I like how the old tradition of architecture is still preserved and successfully in use. Rajasthan is very historical and a lot of it has tremendous Royal lineage but we are gonna discuss that in one of the upcoming blogs:) For now, Imma show you some of the shopping that I did in Pilani.
Pilani is famous for its lac bangles. The bangle shops are nestled in tiny lanes and one has to be really observant to discover them if not a local. The shops have their workshops attached so buying the bangles actually has a ‘fresh out of the oven’ feels. Some shops have their workshops right in front so you can actually see the ladies working on making a bangle. The art is passed down in the families and some of them even have apprentices which is so amazing since it not only keeps tradition alive but also provides employment.
These are hookahs that we bought from a roadside stall en route Pilani. The vendors literally sit you down and give you a full length seminar on how to use a hookah. Hookahs aren’t typically used where I come from but it is very popular in the north of India, especially in the state of Haryana, so it was a very unique experience for us. Besides, the variety of colours is mind-blowing:)
The last picture on this blog is a guest house called the ‘Birla Guest House’ which is a very convenient stop for tourists or even parents dropping their children off at uni. The town of Pilani is home to the university called BITS Pilani, one of the oldest and most renowned universities of the country. The uni is situated in an educational compound called Vidya Vihar, which literally translates to ‘Abode of knowledge’. The compound has the patronage of the Birla family, one of the most influential families in India and the world. The family has an education trust which is responsible for running multiple schools as well as the university of BITS Pilani.
Imma talk about BITS Pilani in my next blog where Imma give ye folks a dash of university madness:)
And that is a wrap.
Until next time,