Rajasthan

_MG_6741This is why you endure the lengthy travel, airport meltdowns, Delhi belly and crushing jetlag- to get pictures of your cutie stripey kiddos posing among the ruins of a 15th century Hindu temple.  All kidding aside it felt like our travel mojo really fell into place while journeying through Jaipur and Udaipur.  While still bustling, crowded, sensory-overloading cities, they offer such beauty to the willing traveler.

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_MG_5986One of the challenges of this trip is the amount of travel involved.  From Bhutan we flew to Delhi where we stayed for a night before catching a flight to Jaipur.  There are long car rides in hair-raising traffic back and forth from airports to hotels.  Travel in India, whether by car, plane, boat or camel is not easy.  This calls for serious stamina, both from us and the kids.  The boys have been amazing- beyond amazing, really.  I am immensely proud of them for their adaptability and adventurous little spirits.  We are faring far better than I ever dreamed we would.

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_MG_6110On previous trips we’ve tried not to fall prey to all the touristy stuff, but I’ll confess that is often the stuff kids love.  Elephant rides, camel rides, boat rides, toy train rides….you catch my drift.  While at first I’m rolling my eyes, it always ends up being a blast simply because of the boys unabashed exuberance.  Such was the case when we took an elephant ride up to the Amer Fort along with the hoards of other tourists.  The boys were pretty chuffed at the idea of riding an elephant (!!!) and of course once we were there, I was the one going insane over the painting- the colors, the patterns, the architecture.  This is what I love about the region in general- the colors.  The women in their bright saris against the dusty landscape, the brightly painted homes, the little shops packed to the brim with this and that.

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_MG_6525Perhaps our favorite outing was one that happened by pure chance while driving in the outskirts of Udaipur.  We wanted to see some of the rural landscape and villages.  When a herd of goats passed us by, I asked to stop- the scene was just too beautiful to miss.  Our “quick stop” turned into an afternoon of touring the goat-herders farm, and being invited for lunch at another family’s farm where our boys played trucks with their five boys.  Without knowing us, they fed us and welcoming us into their lived for the afternoon (poor Vik- everyone wants to hold him- from Bhutan to Udaipur- he can’t escape it and our rule of thumb is if you can catch him, you can hold him!).

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_MG_6713We’re back in Delhi now (hence the blog post- internet again, hooray!) and I think we’re all pretty beat.  I’m hearing reports of freezing temps and blustery snowstorms back home, but I am still missing Providence.  I miss good coffee, chocolate chip cookies, our family and friends, down time to knit and watch my shows (Downton Season 4 I’M COMING FOR YOU!), driving my own car, big leafy green salads and sleeping in our own rooms…and not necessarily in that order!  And for those of you that have asked, I am planning a post of traveling with kids- some of the offbeat things that worked for us- and I promise it won’t be all those super obvious ones (pack snacks for the plane- wow, really, would have never thought of that!?).  I’ll also be laying out some of the realities of our trip- it is not all marigold garlands and baskets of roses…traveling (especially in a third world country) has its challenges, and when you add kids in the mix, things get really interesting.  More on that in a bit.  To all our friends back home…stay warm and cozy!

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Your thoughts on “Rajasthan

  1. Hi Christine
    You seem to be having such an amazing time with your family in such a beautiful place. Your boys look absolutely adorable. Was that a temple with all the blues and exquisate patterns. Wouldnt the designs make the most b4eautiful fabric. Enjoy the rest of your stay.
    Sandra

    1. Ha- great quilting minds think alike! That was my first thought when I saw the paintings in the Amer Fort. They would make gorgeous fabrics!

  2. Beautiful sights. Thanks for sharing. I do have a question – do you ask for permission when photographing people? Some of the posed photos are obvious but you have some candid photos. I usually avoid people pictures – only get a few from time to time and from far away (like of ladies dancing in the streets, which seems fair game). Suggestions?

    1. Ah yes, this is THE question. To photograph candidly or stop and ask permission. I wrote about my feelings on photography etiquette here: http://christinechitnis.com/2012/05/16/photography-etiquette/, but I’ll add this. The candid shots are my favorite, and as soon as you start worrying about asking permission, you lose those shots. So normally, I click away and deal with the occasional scolding or money ask (everyone is looking for the angle in India and that applies to foreigners taking pictures, if the subject is savvy, they’ll ask for money in exchange for pictures). It is an awkward situation though- but I try to push through my feelings to get the shot. Also, as a mixed race couple with two mixed race kids in India we were always having our picture taken- I don’t mind and I figure it must be good photo karma to allow myself to be on the other side of the lens!

      1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures, Christine! I would like to add that I personally think that those photographed have every right to ask for money (why shouldn’t they?), or express their discontent with having their pictures taken. People may hold different beliefs than we do about what pictures mean, and in my view, we need to respect that. When I tried to take pictures of a small child in Central Asia, I was asked not to because the child’s parents feared my camera might somehow attract evil spirits onto the child. I was asked not to take pictures of humble dwellings because the people who lived there were ashamed of them, and I could not convince them otherwise. In both cases I left, without these picturesque pictures.

  3. Love it all esp Vikaroo crying every time someone tries to hold him!!! what an amazing time!!! i’m so heartened by how much the boys are taking in! glad you miss home. was so worried we would lose you to India!!!!!! love, mom

  4. Christine, So many layers to this trip-color, design, children, adventure, did I mention color! I am watching snow fall on a white landscape here in eastern Oregon. Your blog is a treasure. Louise

  5. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures! I look forward to hearing more. I am so fascinated by the older woman from the goat herder farm….imagining her life and experiences, so different from my own.

  6. I don’t check in on blogs to often but I’m so glad I did tonight! Wow, Christine! Just wow! Incredible photos of an amazing country! Thank you for sharing the beauty of the people, the landscape, and of course your family. That is quite a trip to take with two little ones. Wishing you all the best on the rest of your vacation and journey back home.

  7. I love seeing all the photos of women! And I love how none of them are wearing black!

    The rich immersion of saturated color begs a basic question about poverty: Don’t our more-developed countries tend to be systemically color-poor? It can almost seem that the wealthier the city–Zurich, NYC, Toyko–the more black people wear, the more gray in the architecture.

    Also–don’t the boys from India and Bhutan want your boys’ trucks? (I cannot wait to hear more about the ins and outs of this kind of thing).

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Ah yes- the sharing of the trucks! I’m so glad you asked because I’ll be talking all about this in my next post! Stay tuned!

  8. Your photos are so incredible. The colors are so vivid. It must have been a crazy adventure traveling to India with children, but amazing for your whole family, too. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  9. Beautiful pictures! I so love catching up on your blog. What an amazing, inspiring trip. You are my hero! I so appreciate how relaxed you are – -or appear to be on this side of the laptop at least. I get stressed out planning a road trip to New Hampshire (I live in RI), what if someone gets sick, etc. Pathetic! Think I need to get out a bit more. 🙂

  10. Wow, the Amer Fort looks absolutely amazing. And I agree with thujaz that is so lovely to see people wearing colour. One thing I’ve noticed, from photos, is that at least wealthy or educated Indians also seem to start wearing black and grey instead of colours. Poor Vik, I do feel a bit sorry for him, I’m not criticizing you, I’m just wondering why anybody would want to hold a child who is so obviously not happy being held.

  11. I just found your blog and what a wonderful way to be introduced to it! India has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Your comments about the rough travel conditions resonate with me after some of my experiences in the Middle East. Thank you for sharing your journey!

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