My Digs

This was my home for 24 hours when I visited this small, isolated village in the Thar desert. To call it a village is probably too big a word, it is a simple home which has 4 small huts for visitors, this is Pabu ki Dhani.  Pabu welcomed us into his home so we could experience a little piece of the Rajasthani desert. Unlike other desert treks near Jaisalmer (I went on another with my father over 10 years ago), there are no other tourists in sight, this is a true rural experience.  There is no running water, no electricity and no glamourous permanent tents. This is real life.

Pabu (along with his wife Capucine who was not there on our visit) aim to support the local villages and expose their visitors to the crafts that are practised every day.  There is no big sales push, just the chance to see people doing what they do every day.

We visited one village where we watched this man create candlestick holders, bowls and cups from a lump of clay.

Pottery maker

The village that he lived in looked isolated.

The Village

Of course in each village there are children who followed us begging to have their photo taken and then squealing with delight when they could see there visage back on the digital screen.

These young girls were not at school even though it was a weekday, the privilege of education that is something afforded only for the boys in this village. Sadly when we asked their age none of them could tell us because they didn’t know. This was just an afternoon for us, but for them this isolated village is their life. My heart sank as I saw the squalid conditions in which they lived. Rajasthan is one of the least educated states in India and also one where poverty is more marked.

Girls of the Village

I have written before (here and here) about how helpless I feel when seeing poverty here, I now don’t even think I can verbalise how I felt after meeting these young girls.

As we drove from village to village, the long empty roads of the desert stretched before us.

Road to Nowhere

The landscape is eerie but spectacular.  It seems incomprehensible to me that people have survived in this inhospitable environment for hundreds of years.  It is certainly easier nowadays with jeeps and mobile phones, but even in this modern age one cannot escape the harshness of the desert.

The Lake

Of course as a guest in someone’s home I was spared the harsh reality of desert life.  Instead I was treated to fabulous home cooked food and had comfortable shelter.

Lunch

Being a tourist I couldn’t resist the obligatory camel ride in the desert. I recall the last time I was in Jaisalmer I took a camel ride with my father, at the end of which he declared that it was unlikely he would travel with me again (camels didn’t agree with him :-)).  Despite this memory I decided to give this odd looking beast one more chance.

Thankfully she was kind to me.

View from the Camel

She took me through the sand dunes that seemed to stretch on for hours.

The Dunes

As evening approached we settled on the verandah and listened to some local men sing folk songs around the fire.  Looking up at the stars, I closed my eyes and just listened to the serenity.  This really must be the most peaceful place in India.

Sunset over the Desert

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7 thoughts on “Adventures in the Desert Part 2: Pabu ki Dhani

  • June 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm
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    HI,
    This is bhabani i read Cultural Misfits: Where do I fit in? its very hearttouching , i want to say onething life is a journey .in my point of view of philosophy.

    and i also read puri visit you wrote puri is a local tourist place for indian but you i think forgot to write about puri famous jaganath temple and his history i think you should study about that it will helpfull to you.

    Bye keep going.

    Reply
    • June 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm
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      Thanks.

      I didn’t forget the temple in Puri, I was actually refused entry because they didn’t believe that I was Hindu.

      Reply
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  • April 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm
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    Lovely post.
    It must be the best place to sit and stay calm! The evenings in the Desert is an experience itself.

    Reply
  • March 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm
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    Hi Rakhee

    I started following your blog recently and am really enjoying your posts.

    This past post/article is heart wrenching and celebratory at the same time. And I completely understand how your heart aches for those girls, as I feel the same way when traveling throughout India. We have to help them because we came from better circumstances.

    Reply
    • March 29, 2012 at 11:00 pm
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      Thanks Melanie and I am glad you are enjoying the blog.

      I would love to help these girls but where to start? I would be interested in your thoughts on what we could do that would be effective.

      Reply
  • March 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm
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    Love this post. Brings it back so clearly. x

    Reply

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