Met my rickshaw driver outside the gates of Pearl Palace and set off on my tour of Jaipur, or the ‘pink city’ as it’s known. Not that any of it’s pink. We took in the Hawa Mahal, where small windows at the top of the palace provided great people-watching opportunities onto the chaotic streets of Jaipur below. City Palace; a colourful blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture, was next, and then onto the Jantur Montor, which is an amazing observatory full of bizarre looking ‘modern art-esque’ sculptures, which act as instruments of meticulous calculation, recording time, eclipses, and the zodiac. I saw some other amazing temples, including one at the end of a rocky 2km trek, where Krishna’s footprint is. The water palace was also impressive.
In the evening, I met Paula again, and we went to Paramount Cinema to catch a Bollywood flick – an immature teen love and lust story actually set in London. The Indian male psyche was revealed clearly to me here. The Western woman in the movie serving in the pub wore only a bra, and was seen as loose and sluttish. The Indian actresses wore clothes so sexy they could barely get away with them in Singapore, nevermind India. It was such an escapist film for the viewers….the main characters being 3 Indian men who drooled over anything resembling a female – quite true to form, from my experiences observing the men over here, I felt. That’s fine though….it’s OK to do that here.
At the interval Paula and I discreetly left…..we couldn’t bear to watch the second half. Instead, we went for a lovely dinner at the Revolving restaurant – the highest point in Jaipur. It revolved a little too quickly for my liking. Still, the food was great. We walked back through the streets, young men, eyes gleaming with intent over the blonde-haired Paula, following us occasionally. We got back without incident, and had a few beers in the hotel’s restaurant. It had been a good day.