The past few weeks have been spent walking through narrow muddy paths, looking up to ornate temples, smelling whiffs of incense, whilst nearly stepping in a huge cow shit, dogging a bull, then a tuck tuk, seeing a herd of goats being ushered past a group of men huddled over a fire and the eyes of women hidden under folds of beautifully coloured silk. Towering forts the backdrop to to tradesman tapping, shaping, building in the streets. It’s not hard to imagine an ancient India, run by kings in their palace’s, led by beliefs and worship for the gods and a caste system defining their society, creating a place for everything and everyone. Throughout Rajasthan you notice this rub between an ancient way of life, filled with values and tradition and the influence of globalisation on a developing country.
On arriving in Tordi Gar, a little village outside of Pushkar, you can see how the state is developing. On one hand you see how the village is still self sustained, a man milking his cow for dinner, cow dung being used to insulate the houses, local tradesman- the potter, the shop keeper, the seamstress; on the other, that with more people flocking to the cities for better opportunities they need support. To improve basic living conditions the government has introduced the ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’- The Clean India initiative.
The street walls have become notifications of change; signs encouraging children to wash their hands, clean, whilst the fronts of houses show marks that indicate they were given a fund to have a toilet fitted in the house. Publicly stamped to ensure the money isn’t spend elsewhere. As the villages evolve and new generations chose new lines of work, local business struggle as brands such as north face creep in- no doubt as a result of travellers. Whilst such change in many ways is both positive and inevitable, I hope that a developing India does not mean a western one and that they can retain some of the tradition and beauty which gives it its rich identity.