The Pushkar mela was on my list of must visits for years .. am I glad I finally made it.
It's the India of angrez books and tourists, something we choose to wave off in dismissal. When a firang remarks about the snake charmers, camels, cattle, dust, color, dirt, crowds, sadhus, bathing in the holy waters, I'd look at them like they'd grown two heads. But hey, it's all here!
We are probably as droll to the locals at the fair as they seem to us. Indians from metros are considered as phoren as foreigners by the village folk.
There's much to observe in the face & demeanour, stories & character etched out; of endurance, patience, of giving, calm, distress maybe, hardship and an honest living. I noticed a lot of giving & sharing (the poor giving alms) and and some taking too (touts), it seemed to balance & come full circle in subtle ways.
The Rajasthani persona is oh-so perfectly chiseled; poise and simple perfection, I'd sit and gaze for hours; entertaining too for the surprises their guises sprang as I sat & watched from the chaiwalla's. And this chaiwalla was a piece of work, he'd make fancy ginger-honey-lemon tea for foreign visitors & shoo away the locals unceremoniously. I didn't care for him but his shop offered a vantage point to people-watch.
--- Its a photographer's paradise.. and the COLOR can send you reeling.