A painted pink city dulled by years of wear, yet cautiously protected and handed down through generations.
A vision that invokes a memory never experienced, but somehow evoked, of blinding palaces dripping in diamonds.
A sickeningly spicy-sweet tang of a samosa still hangs to atoms in the air. Cars and bikes jab in and out of a sharp inhale of a gap.
Today, we were on foot. (Our driver spoke not one word of English and had to drive us some days 4-5 hours to a new city, just me, my mom and Anil...but this is another story.) We weaved through bodies to see The Pink Palace and soak in the intricacies of such a past yet lavish life.
Markets with doors and doors of the same product. Stacked so carefully to fit as much as possible in. Flattened garments strewn from a Westerner’s rejects near the main streets.
Pastas and spices and incense and toys, small household products and fast food made from lentil powder. Behind the busy streets sat grandmothers squatted over their offerings. Working still to grow, pick, garner and sell their product.
After being freshly painted with henna and stopping for Lassi, a ride in a tuk tuk, trying one spot for incense, denying them and decided it was actually that scent that was wanted, we returned to the hotel we were staying at; a restored palace.
At dinner, a flutist sat by the main fountain to play a mesmerizingly and calm soundtrack, and a traditional puppet show whistled off near the pool. All marionettes laid in front to be sold along with their mates; together as its other half. The heavy air of the day settled with our meals.
Within the walls, it was quiet. A few light honks and calls from below, not unfamiliar from a New Yorker’s comfort.
At five AM, a call to prayer hummed with the faded pink of dusk.