The many splendoured tourist Mecca, legendary for its romance, royalty and undulating sand dunes, is explored and examined in this sparkling account of the author’s many rendezvous with Rajasthan. In her many avatars as starry-eyed tourist, harried producer of documentary films lover of music and someone who realize that there is much more to the desert province than picture-perfect, Juhi Sinha travels to forgotten towns and cities while also discovering unseen facets of familiar destinations. What emerges is an affectionate. What emerges is an affectionate portrait live in the past people who simultaneously live in the past and the present.
The author recounts in vivid anecdotes the highlights of her numerous journeys as she traverses the state on holidays and film shoots from the murals if Shekhwati to the Sonar Qila of Jaisalmer from the luxurious heritage Hotels that dot the map to the barren wastes near Pokaran stopping along the way to relate the ballads of Moomal –the princess whose doomed love story is still recounted –and t0 introduce us to unforgettable characters like Padam Singh the Rickshawallah who doubles as a bird watching guide, and Neck Muhammad the folk singer and his troupe who star I her film.
Erstwhile royalty feisty actors colourful guides, friendly shopkeepers and obstinate bureaucrats came together in this part travelogue part persona, memoir, keeping you entertained till the last page.
I think David Davidar, V.K. Karthika, Ravi Singh and the Penguin India family for giving me the opportunity to write this book. I thank Avanija Sundaramurti for her editing and Puja Ahuja for her lovely cover design.
A word of thanks for the many people in Rajasthan and in Delhi most of whom figure in the book who volunteered help and information.
And last a special word of thanks for my brother Pavan for being there.
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