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pushkar, india

india never ceases to amaze me
after seeing big cities
small cities
pushkar was familiar
yet so different

a tiny city
around a miniature holly lake
only thirteen thousand people
very old city
the guest house i stay in
is more than 400 years old
used to be a palace
rooms scattered around the wall
the two beautiful daughters of the family
could easily function as the princesses
here ali baba is reality
i live in a fairy tale

mountains and deserts
surround the city and lake
many ghats are all around the lake
leading with stairs to the holly water
constant celebrations take place
sometimes for days
beautiful music
great chanting

so many temples
each dedicated to different god
shiva seems to be the most popular

inside the shiva temple
standing proudly erect is the shiva linga
a big sculpture of shiva’s penis
shiva power
full power

at different times of day
the city looks different
different light
direct sun
thunderstorms make the old buildings
look as if they are all surrounded
by fluorescent lights

in love with indian food
such variety
got somewhat addicted
to the burning sensation
here in pushkar
there is also rajastani food
food is served in a plate
made out of a leaf
you eat
then trash the empty plate
in the street
a cow comes by
and eats the empty plate

giving neck massage to a cow
she’s loving it
following me around
begging for more

gypsies in the streets
playing music
just like in the movie
“latcho drom”

the stores are loaded with
fabulous clothing
handmade pieces
most of it could be found
only in pushkar
found karchana pants
specially made for trance parties
wearing them while writing these words

sadhus with angry cobras
a cow with six legs
all in this sacred vegetarian city
where even eggs are forbidden

going into the desert on horses
beautiful mountains and fields
climbing to the top of a nearby mountain
stairs leading all the way up
to a temple
big climb
amazing view of the entire city
and the lake

the harmony between people and animals
is admirable
cows, dogs, horses, pigs, huge monkeys,
camels, elephants, pigeons, crows,
water turtles, water buffaloes,
other birds, fish in the lake
all in harmony
with a function
helping and feeding each other

taking puja
in a private ceremony on the lake
doing the water ritual
with the flowers
and the coconut
red materials with pieces of rice
placed on my third eye
given the chance
to bless my entire family
and loved ones

meeting a woman sadhu
going with her to the market
we’re buying flour, ghee,
she’s cooking for us
delicious sabji
amazing chapatis
thick ones with lots of ghee
we’re eating outside
near the lake

feeling so lucky and fortunate
to experience all this magic

now back in the city of pune
feels like coming home
it’s good
but not sure if want to be home
in ten days
leaving pune back to new york
another place i call home
feels good to have
more than one place to call home

© 2000. All Rights Reserved.
Zemach Zohar Wilson, Pushkar India, August 2000

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