Today I did a twelve hour drive, off roading through the desert and dhanis from Jaisalmer to Osiyan. There were amazing dunes to cross and some very nice people to travel with. But over it all was the intrinsic quality of the desert and it’s peole. The shepherds and the lohaars, the kal beliyas and the bishnois. Each with their own particular characteristic, weather the art of herding, the art of the troubadour or the art of firing metal in a little pan with a jury rigged blower made of a cycle tyre. The mould is made in the sand at his feet and he churns out all the sickles, knives, spades, blades that the people need. The Bishnoi and his animal protection allow one to see myriad deer and other little animals around their lively settlements.
I am now sitting in a fairy tale camp at the edge the desert, a train just went past with its attendant lonesome call – straight out of ‘Pakeezah’. I have heard the most heartily sung ballads and sat around a bonfire under a star filled desert sky.
It never wanes that romance of a bonfire and starlight- how many years of recounting a similiar story but the magic lives on.