“I think someone important is coming.”
“Do you think it is SRK?”
“No, it must be the Maharaja himself.”
“I’m telling you it must be some firang (foreigner).”
I can’t help overhearing this excited chatter and squeals of anticipation as I step out of the Museum of the Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur. A group of 20 somethings is standing to one side and craning their necks over a barricade to see something that I cannot. I am intrigued and join them as do some other tourists. And soon we are looking at the entrance to the Umaid Bhawan Palace Hotel, which was abuzz with some activity. What happened next is not really an unusual sight in a 5-star hotel, but as a tourist in a touristy place, I couldn’t help be one myself. 😀
A bright red silken canopy is being unfurled and readied.Who is the visitor, I wonder? So do others and the guesses are flowing fast and thick.
And now they are almost ready to unfurl it… Who is the visitor? The group that has collected to watch this ‘welcome’ is now placing bets.
As the canopy is unfurled, a hostess comes down the steps and almost on cue a car comes up the long and curving driveway to a smooth halt. The guessing game has reached feverish pitch now. Who is it? Who is it? The car door opens and a firang steps out
And then another firang emerges from the car. The hostess is all smiles now …
She welcomes the guests with a handshake and a smile.
“What ! No namaste, no garland? Whatever has happened to the Indian traditional welcome”, someone comments rather loudly.
And the canopy holders welcoming committee look back to see if the guests are inside…
And the, in the blink of an eye, the red silk canopy is folded…
…taken inside and then …
Never knew being a canopy holder could dirty my hands, is what the person on the right seems to be saying to the person on the left 🙂I’m not sure what I enjoyed more: the comments of those watching this canopied welcome unfold or photographing the actual welcome as it happened. When I photographed this series of frames, it was a fun thing and I never really thought much about it. It is only when I was organising my photographs that I saw the narrative emerge as a photostory. And that’s how this post came about.
I ‘d love to hear what you think of this maiden attempt of mine. So please, please do leave your comments:-)