Visiting Jaipur changed my impression of India

Published: February 21, 2016

There was an aura of peace and serenity. I took my time to absorb the atmosphere, wanting to absorb with both mind and heart, while I remained there struck with awe and amazement. PHOTO: SONIA FAROOQ

Sometimes the best things are unplanned. I had almost stopped waiting for my visa for India to arrive and then, just two days before the conference, I had it in my hands. Being my usual, spontaneous self, I immediately rushed to the travel agency to book my flight only to be informed that I was too late to get a hold of any direct flight to Delhi that week. Adding to my disappointment, other flights were costly and booked as well.

After hours of sheer persistence, my friend and I managed to secure a connecting flight with three stopovers; Doha, Abu Dhabi, Mumbai and, finally, to our much awaited destination: Jaipur. The ticket cost us twice as much as any direct flight would have and was just as inconvenient considering we would arrive in the nick of time on the day of the conference. But to both of us, all these matters were rendered trivial; our money wasn’t being spent on a trip, but on the opportunity to bank innumerous memories that we’d revisit for a lifetime.

India: A glorious part of our subcontinent; the land of our forefathers. I could almost taste the Bombay biryani. There were so many things that awaited me: Lucknow’s Urdu, saris from Banaras, Rajasthani jewellery and of course, Bollywood.

We arrived in Mumbai where we had a long stopover. Our first meal in India was Roghni-kalonji naan (nigella seeds bread), as advised by the airport staff. We had our quick meal and headed back to the Mumbai airport after which we caught a domestic flight to Jaipur.

Early in the morning, we reached Jaipur airport where our dearest friend, Professor Mohan, came to receive us. I had seen him in pictures but had never met him in person. While my friend was searching for him, I spotted a man wearing a hat; the signature hat of Professor Mohan.

We received a very warm welcome from him. The weather was surprisingly cold with affectionately chilly winds when we arrived even though it was the first week of March. He told us that it had never been like this in this season. Delighted, he exclaimed that we brought the downpour and lovely weather from Islamabad to the arid and hot Jaipur. While we waited for other guests from other countries to arrive, he offered us tea from the nearest stall; the finest garma garm chai (hot milk tea).

On our way to the hotel, I noticed Jaipur was enveloped in a green blanket of fresh flora. The roads were also clean. The foliage and freshness attracted me. In some places I couldn’t feel the difference between Jaipur and Islamabad. It was almost as if I was in one of the sectors of Islamabad.

Our hotel was a few minutes’ walk from Rajasthan University. Despite access to transport, we preferred walking to appreciate the local culture. We loved walking through the streets, strolling around town, visiting small shops and encountering the echoes of the British raj (rule) at every corner. While touring, I noticed that respecting animal life was inherent in their culture; monkeys roamed around freely at the forts, people fed birds by the road side and stray dogs scampered with no objection from the people.

In my opinion, Jaipur is one of the most attractive locales I have ever come to experience. One fine day, we hopped into a minivan to visit Amer fort; a beautiful fort that the government has maintained quite well. The fort snakes through the hilly area of Jaipur where there are a lot of tourists and locals. The structure of the fort was magnificent and told a story. Sometime you need to commune with old places to feel mystic. There was an aura of peace and serenity. I took my time to absorb the atmosphere, wanting to absorb with both mind and heart, while I remained there struck with awe and amazement.

Jaipur is an entrancing city of royal residences with a whimsical view of the Jal Mehal (Water Palace) serving as a stopping point along the way. It makes for a dreamy location. Jal Mehal and Hawa Mehal (Palace of Winds) are the most inspiring sites. I spent sufficient time with my face lost in one of the windows of Hawa Mehal. It was a wonderful experience to go to India and soak myself in the allure of forts and palaces.

The next day, we went to Jaigarh Fort. It was closed as all official sites in Jaipur close past 5pm but thanks to our friend from the history department, the gates were opened for us so we could enjoy its serene environment before we left. Our tour was guided by a local who made it thoroughly enjoyable.

The fort is set in beautiful red sandstone and has different levels of gardens which were watered by canals. I wanted to explore the gardens of the palace but I was lost in the past pondering over how honourable their history was. They say, “the best way to honour the past is to preserve it,” and our Indian brothers seem to have done a really good job achieving just that. The fort was quite magnificent to see. One of the architectural marvels at the fort complex was Badal Mahal (Palace of Clouds) with a dramatic staircase ending in the stunning garden. It is said that members of the royal family would sit there to enjoy the fresh mountain breeze and see the clouds cascading into the garden sky. The mesmerising beauty of the fort was enough to disconnect from the world. While roaming around and losing ourselves amidst its beauty, I thought of all the ancient souls that once lived there.

And before I knew it, it was dusk. I didn’t want to think about tasks I had yet to undertake that day. I continued to sit there wishing for time to stand still. If you ever want to see one of the most beautiful sunsets, go to the top of Jaigarh Fort, an utterly compelling destination.

A beautiful song in Rekha Bhardwaj’s voice played in the car as we moved through the older part of the town.

You simply can’t leave Jaipur without seeing the old pink part – Jaipur is also called the Pink City. We decided to walk through the crowded bazaar of the old city of Jaipur. I was fascinated by the brightly coloured handmade bangles, chunri and saris. I bought jewellery, saris and a pressure cooker (let me tell you one thing; Indian cookers are famous in Pakistan. My colleague’s mother had specifically asked me to bring one). Even the shopkeepers were kind and continuously asked about Pakistan.

Last but not least, we entered the grand Birla Mandir, a Hindu temple. Regardless of their belief and faith, anyone could enter as long as they are dressed appropriately. We spent some time at the brightly lit temple in the evening. I was astounded by the architectural brilliance of this white-marbled building with three huge domes, each representing different approaches to the religion. There were scenes of Hindu scriptures on stained glass windows and carvings of deities, historical figures from all regions and mythological themes on the exterior walls. I simply sat down and enjoyed the view, listening to the Azaan (Muslim call of prayer) from the nearby mosque along with the bells from the temple. At sunset, it was overwhelming to hear the Maghrib Azaan, beautiful, loud and crisp. Men started moving towards the mosque. After 10 minutes, the bells of the temple rang and puja (Hindu worship) started in the most melodious voice. No disturbance, no hatred. Everyone was busy in their prayers without disturbing the other. I felt Jaipur changing my impression of India.

Our visit ended with an elegant dinner at an exclusive hotel called Virasat (Heritage). I thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance of the hotel. There was live Rajasthani music in the hall with a girl performing a traditional dance. A big thaal (platter) full of tantalising dishes, served with all sorts of local delicacies. While enjoying our last dinner in Jaipur, I thought that despite the many hurdles involved at the start, the travel to India was truly worth it. I was able to experience a city enriched with history, tradition, religion and architecture.

The fear of visiting a supposed enemy territory completely vanished. It is rather unfortunate that the power of the media is often used to instil such hatred between our countries. My preconceived notions bit the dust as soon as I landed. There were so many people genuinely interested in getting to know us and about Pakistan. Despite notions propagated by the media, there wasn’t a single place we got stuck at or found any evidence of ill will. From the immigration office to the people of Jaipur, everybody treated us with respect. They smiled and ate with us. They would inquire about Pakistan and we unanimously agreed that the media misrepresented both countries.

In a candid conversation, we all agreed that we are diverse yet similar. Amid the session breaks, Professor Jasbir would hold my hand and sit with me on the stairs to share wisdom just like a mother would with her daughter. Another Hindu Professor would ask me, with tears in her eyes, about Sialkot and Hyderabad where her forefathers lived. While I teasingly eyed Professor Mohan’s bag to win my share of chocolates, which he only gave to his favourite people, another professor would lovingly remind me not to forget gajar ka halwa/gajrella (carrot dessert) that was especially made for us. Others would come and appreciate our dramas. Yes, they are huge fans of our drama industry and are very fond of Humsafar and Fawad Khan. Many of them have DVDs and cassettes of Omar Sharif, Moin Akhtar, Dhoop KinaraySunehray Din and Tanhaiyaan!

Even though our policies may differ, the lineage of our people traces back to each other’s land. It was incredible to see people approach us to ask about Islamabad and Lahore. People from the media, students, professors and friends, all seemed delighted to see us and said it was a moment of history.

On our way back, I revelled in the memory of my experience and the warm people I met. Simultaneously, I was struck with a pang of sorrow upon realising the distances we have grown in our hearts. Looking out from the window of the plane and observing the landmarks, I kept thinking about how borders and barriers seemed shadowy, useless and rather unnecessary dividers.

Will we ever change the course of our story?  The context of our grand harmonious past being the cause of our happy ending after an abundance of plot twists?

Will our love ever transcend boundaries?

I realised that the spontaneity of our trip allowed us to live in the moment rather than plan for it in advance. The car stereo kept echoing in my ears, even though I was miles in the air. Among the mists, the singer’s deep voice sang:

Phir le aya dil majboor kia kijiye

Raas na aya rehna door, kya kijiye…

Dil keh raha usay mukammal ker bhi aao,

Wo jo aduri si baat baqi hai, who jo adhuri see yaad baqi hai

Milte rahein hum badastoor…

 All Photos: Sonia Farooq

Sonia I. Farooq

Sonia Irum Farooq

The author is a Lecturer in the department of English, female campus, at the International Islamic University, Islamabad. She is also working as a coordinator of the Critical Thinking Forum at the university. Currently she is pursuing PhD from Royal Holloway University London, UK.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • vinsin

    Once India become an Islamic state, none of those structures would be there.Recommend

  • tyler durden

    crap.we are NOT same. Indians or Indian gov has not started 42 terrorist camps to train terrorists and send them to Pakistan.ughRecommend

  • Spock

    If you couldnt attent Jaipur Literary Festival then you should go back again.
    Jaipur has lot of offer to international and tourist from around the region, always rich with history, always awesome.Recommend

  • Spock

    Great Writeup but pictures are a bit disappointing.Recommend

  • Fareed Khan Afridi.

    Great blog. Very uplifting and so detailed. Been to Jaipur a few years back.
    A ‘must visit’ Indian city. Stunning photographs. Specially the food, the ‘thali’
    looks, oh so delicious ! The Indo-Pak culture is one and the same.Recommend

  • LS

    Thank you for visiting my town. I am not sure what parts reminded you of British Raj but most of the buildings constructed on Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg (JLN Marg for short – Where Rajasthan University is located) were constructed post or at the cusp of Independence following Jaipur’s own architecture (Rajputana) and usage of Pink stones, facade and . Even the new Vidhan Sabha (Legislative Assembly) building follows the same architecture.

    Yes, most of the India is like that where a Mosque, a Gurudwara, a temple, a Church are close by. Anyone can go anywhere without any issue.

    There are also negatives, which country does not… We are working to improve them and our CM and the people together are working to fix them.Recommend

  • ajay gupta

    u know why pakistan lags behind? because we dont call our professors hindu prof or muslim prof. India is not only about sights and sounds, it is about living togethger as indians without the tagging of religion.Recommend

  • wb

    You’re a research associate in the dept. of English and this is how you articulate? Through a tame, dull, insipid, non-provoking, unoriginal, uncritical picture of one city of India?

    What impression of India changed after you visited India? That India being perceived as an enemy country, is still much like Pakistan?

    If so, where have you articulated that except for explaining the weather and food and shops and buildings?

    And you’re a coordinator of critical thinking forum?Recommend

  • Ash

    ‘My preconcieved notions bit the dust as soon as I landed’. This sums up all.
    Thank’s for sharing your beautiful experience. I am from Hyderabad, India..Presently in US. would love to visit Pakistan and get to know Pakistanis in Pakistan first hand. I know quite a few here from your country and I dont feel any strangeness with them. Feels like I am with my family.Recommend

  • Feroz

    Jaipur is the State capital of Rajasthan a state known for its Forts and Palaces. The desert state is also known for its old Haveli’s, many of which have been converted into luxurious five star resorts. The desert safari in Jaisalmer is really outstanding. Wonder why you skipped Ajmer, so near and yet so far.Recommend

  • Oxy Moron

    Those who seek the oneness underlying the eternal human search for peace, tranquility and harmony with nature will be at home in the most alien culture and among the most dissimilar people.

    And those who seek differences will not be disappointed to find them in their own backyard.

    All I can say about this memoir’s author is ‘May your tribe grow’Recommend

  • Swaadhin

    Good One Irum.

    Gone are the days of golden hearts, you are the one of the last one to keep this breed alive.Recommend

  • pk

    Being an Indian I never visited Jaipur yet. After reading this blog I definitely will plan.Recommend

  • Syed Faran Shah

    My grand grand father did 5 years at Jaipur/ Badal Mahal for Research purpose.Nicely Crafted and Very Tue and honestly refreshing.Well Done.Recommend

  • Jayman

    India has so many wonders in store. You should take a longer trip next time.Recommend

  • Alann

    I doubt your claim of Pakistani dramas being famous, especially in a place like Rajasthan,
    But yes, overall, India is pretty much a peaceful, happening place. There are just about as much Muslims in India as there are in (or probably even more than) Pakistan. And yet, we don’t have suicide bombings or bomb blasts or schools getting attacked, or people dragged down from buses and killed.
    It is no wonder all the Pakistani actors/singers/cricketers who come to India to work end up living in India for years “for work”.Recommend

  • Vectra

    I very much liked reading this article but not only Jaipur India’s every state has its own flavor and something special to tell and each of its states have many cities that is deep emboldened in its traditional,cultural,historical and architectural on its one side and those same cities on its other side will show you the vibrant and rapid modern India with its economic and Industrial and scientific,educational,Infrastructural, prowess that is the part of elite global economic leagues.Recommend

  • Ramakrishna

    A very beautiful article highlighting the similarities between the 2 nations.More such people to people interaction is what will ultimately change the perception which are distorted by the media in their incessant urge for TRP’s.Recommend

  • True Nationalist -Secularist

    Writer has rightfully captured the mood among common persons on both sides. we are same , but different too. Let us learn to respect differences and live peacefully. India has been land of multi faith since centuries , will continue to do so for centuries.Recommend

  • Syed Faran Shah

    Nice and very refreshing way to go about a place not close to you.Recommend

  • Oxy Moron

    May your tribe grow, dear author.

    Those who seek the oneness underlying the eternal human search for peace, tranquility and harmony with nature will be at home in the most alien culture and among the most dissimilar people.

    And those who seek differences will not be disappointed to find them in their own backyard.Recommend

  • fze

    Very enjoyable. That’s my way of enjoying a trip to any historical place – to imagine how it looked like in that era. who were the people who traversed these paths? what happened to them? How they used to behave, colthed and what kind of food they used to consume? How did it feel like and look like without electricity or modern amenities? I’m roaming these paths freely today but certainly no ordinary people would have been allowed to come inside this place at that time? and with this thought I thank Allah that I was able to see this historic place in today’s time. These historic buildings are the bridge to our past and they must be cherished and preserved. BTW, the picture of jharokas reminded me of jharokas in Lahore Fort.Recommend

  • ksmat

    Very glad that you enjoyed your visit to Jaipur. We have a lot in common even though we (both Indians and Pakistanis) deny it.Recommend

  • SkepticalFaraz

    Sonia, try visiting any place besides Rajhasthan, Punjab or Himachil…….you will fall in love with Pakistan and realize the dividers are there for a reason.Recommend

  • Rohan

    Great article but ‘Hindu professor’, seriously???Recommend

  • IndoPakPatriot

    India has very rich and vast culture… Although there is no difference between Pakistani and Indian culture only few forces are keeping us away to save there position and keep there industry running… But there is hope as indian RSS belives one day all will come together…And there be no visa requirement…!!Recommend

  • Amaanwaleeayesha

    I absolutly disagree, there is no cultural difference between pakistan and india… Indain women started wearning tight pajamas N kurtas without dupatas.. Same is here… Your favorite actress sunny leone, same in Pakistan , as you will find most songs played on pakistani channels are of sunny leone.. We are no more islamic country just its paperwork… What you do there same we do here, We are no 1 at searching boy fu…. boy and you at 2 in world… together we are stronger we are…!!Recommend

  • Fasih

    Well Crafted work, I hope such writings and visits will help in bridging gaps between the two countries. Keep on WritingRecommend

  • Sane

    There is no akhand bharat. Pakistanis are separate nation and Pakistan is a sovereign country. Anyways you must not bring politics in this travelogue blog.Recommend

  • Sane

    Lot in common and more than that are uncommon rather far away. Your propaganda is to fail.Recommend

  • sridhar

    (India: A glorious part of our subcontinent; the land of our forefathers.)
    You talk as if all this happened many centuries ago!
    There are still people living who have seen the horrors of partition.
    How many Indians would like to visit Pakistan, please raise your hands.Recommend

  • sridhar

    At best Pakistanis can be polite but their inherent bias does come to the fore now and then.
    I learnt from my Pakistani friend from USA that the word “Hindu” is a curse word in Pakistan.Recommend

  • sridhar

    I visited Jaipur with my parents in 2007 when i took the luxury train “Palace on wheels”. There is a lot to see historically but Jaipur is still a very underdeveloped, dirty city. Rajasthan govt has not done much to get industries there, so most depend on tourism for livelihood. I am not sure if anything has changed today.Recommend

  • Indian guy

    If you harbor such deep anger, why do you even come here to read this article I can’t understand. I for as an Indian, appreciate the nice article.Recommend

  • Chitral wala

    Hard for a zebra to change it’s stripes.
    Hard for a hindu to change it’s hate.Recommend

  • Joe Gargery

    YOU are right. No one would want to claim ‘sameness’ with YOUR kind.
    Hopefully, you are an exception. Perhaps, all Hindus are not like YOU.
    Betting that the author of the blog, just maybe,…..might be rightRecommend

  • Ramchand

    We also hang Muslims if they are suspected of having beef
    in their refrigerators. We dig up and destroy cricket pitches,
    so Pakistani players cannot play on them. We douse authors
    and other respected political leaders with ink. We charge
    a student union leader with sedition, because some unidentified
    people chanted anti India slogans at a rally. We want all the
    Bollywood Khans to leave the country. Our PM is known as the
    ‘Butcher of Gujrat’ [by our own press]
    Universities across USA, England, Italy and and other EU countries
    are now firmly behind a movement to stop the muzzling of freedom
    of speech in India.
    We have second string govt. thugs/politicians who are promising to
    teach a lesson to anyone who dare raise an opposition.
    This comment could go on and on…Recommend

  • Harjit Singh Dhanoa

    Enjoyed the blog.I can relate to Ms Farooq as I had similar and very pleasant time when I worked in Pakistan several years ago, was based in Lahore & Gujjaranwala, traveled extensively within Punjab in connection with my work. During my time there not once I was stopped to check me even during very late night travels. Every where I went was received very warmly and respect.
    Upon my arrival at Lahore airport I was greeted by Immigration officer with a warm hug!
    More and more people from two countries need to visit each other.Recommend

  • Jay

    Hard to become civilized ? :DRecommend

  • Jay

    After visiting Balochistan, KPK, Sindh too ?Recommend

  • Ravi Blr

    I am very glad you had a good time in India, and thank you for your kind words about India and Indians. A beautiful visitor like you from Pakistan is always welcome in India. We only have problems with those of your folks who cross the border with guns and bimbs in their hands and murder and evil in their heart ( Pathankot, Pampore). Control these good people, and you will see India Pakistan friendship prosper.Recommend

  • LS

    We have seen what Islamic people did in 1947 and in the past with Indian sub-continent. We see the examples of what Islamic people did in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Brunei, Malaysia. What they are currently doing in Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Niger, Nigeria, Libya, DRC, Indonesia, Thailand, US, UK, France, Belgium.

    So spare us your drama.Recommend

  • Hasan

    Its funny because most of the structures that Indians take pride in, were built by Muslim leaders (Taj Mahal, red fort, qutb minar etc)Recommend

  • hp kumar

    Author is teaching at International islamic university.surprisingly it is coming from likes of her.This is what they teach at Islamic university as Islamic study
    “reason for the creation of pakistan and two nation theory , ,how to spread and protect Islam,How to be a good muslim”.The kind of environment she is facing on day to day basis,her prejudiced view about India is quite obvious.But if she claims that she has a different impression of india after a brief visit to aforementioned country,then I m sure she has hard time dealing with her job or may be she would be lying ..Recommend

  • LS

    – Hindus are not accused of armed Jihad across the world
    – Hindus did not ask for a separate country during independence of sub-continent
    – Hindus did not murder 273 or more Millions of people
    – Hindus don’t come as immigrants and then occupy the country forcibly (Like Lebanon, Iraq, Iran) and drive out the original settlers or minorities
    – Hindus do not convert forcibly at gun point or by sword.
    – Hindus do not empty the bus and pull down everyone who is a minority and kill everyone.

    There is a consequence if there is an instigation.Recommend

  • LS

    Well, religion comes first! When they talk maybe that is the first thing they notice?Recommend

  • SkepticalFaraz

    Of course Jay…lovely people there unlike the obnoxious Indian majority who won’t leave us alone.Recommend

  • Newton

    Don’t be too harsh. This was written from the heart, it is not meant to be a PhD thesis.Recommend

  • Saadi

    My friend, you started way more than 42 camps in 1970-71 time frame to train terrorists and send them to Pakistan. Lets read up history a bit, shall we?. This article is not about sending terrorists. If you have gripes, so do we. Let him, who is sinless among you, cast the first stone!Recommend

  • Saadi

    Really? So all of the killings in Punjab, Kashmir, Assam, Gujrat must be a figment of our imagination! Just like such acts are sporadic in India, the same goes for Pakistan. And a minor fraction of Pakistani actors go to work in India as such it is not a norm as you are trying to make it sound like. You folks need to get over yourselves and learn to show some decency and magnanimity when someone appreciates your culture.Recommend

  • Saadi

    Yes why not Balochistan and KPK? Been there, loved every moment of the time spent in Quetta and surrounding areas and the Northern Areas of KPK are unmatched! One has to get around to know the area.Recommend

  • Saadi

    Can you get over yourself for a minute please?Recommend

  • Blankspc

    How many Hindu origin places remain in land if pure and in east pakistan ?Recommend

  • ksmat

    what propaganda?

    I said a lot in common, that implies that there are differences too!Recommend

  • Kasturi K

    No, after visiting IOK and Haryana now a days after the caste aftermath..Recommend

  • LS

    The only commonality is Punjab. Punjab is a tiny part of India… rest 97% of India has nothing in common with Pakistan.Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Hi all. Thanks for all the appreciation. Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Thanks. :)Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    If he is from Hindustan, why can’t I call him Hindu?
    Pakistani from Pakistan
    Bharti from Bharat
    Indian from India.Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Thanks a lot.Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Thanks! Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    I must :)Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Shukrya :)Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Thanks. Yeah I saw those place too.

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Yes. ThanksRecommend

  • basil

    No they went far ahead an elected a terrorist to top post!Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Thanks. Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Thank you! Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Good luck! Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Thank you so much. I am humbled. Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    As we mentioned only Jaipur on our visa application so we were not given permission to visit it for security reasons though our Indian friends were very keen to take us there. Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Thank you so much. Keep welcoming :)Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    A professor from Hindustan is called Hindu. No? Or if he is actually Hindu by religion then what’s the harm? :)Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Thank you. pictures were taken from the mobile so please ignore the resolution. Recommend

  • Sonia I. Farooq

    Someday InshaAllah. Thanks. Recommend

  • Hassan

    True, i don’t know what similarities do they found in India and Pakistan, not even skin color or facial features are same. normally i don’t find you talking sane but this time u seems to be sane. we Pakistanis are in noway like Indians,, i can recognize an Indian from a distance. freshness is not there on their faces for that i can swear. its not because i hate India its because how i see it and told by other foreigners, and i hate to be called an Indian i feel like as if i lost my complexion or become dull, i got worried on such remarks, and we feel offended when u call us Pakistanis are like us. sorry we r not and thank you for objecting this, thanks a million. btw culturally too we r different. thumbs up.Recommend

  • Hassan

    should i laugh or what??? see unless u feel it be a cursed it is not. we have Hindu community here in Pakistan, its Hindu who call themselves Hindu, so we also start calling them Hindu, or should be ceased to call a Hindu ”Hindu” lol… this is as good as you may refer a Muslim professor as a Muslim, it is so difficult to make an Indian understand simple things like why a lamp is called a lamp..hahaha…u knwo what u r better in India they r like u they would answer u in a way u can well comprehend.Recommend

  • pk

    Calling by religion in India is considered Anathema. If I see Muslim anywhere I don’t have any suspicion that he could be from Pakistan it is that acceptable. Recommend

  • Hassan

    Oh really, u know why Pakistan lags behind..woooo as if you are living in Canada, being the most intolerant nation, with highest poverty and rape rate, and lowest literacy rate, having 100+ separatist movements, where majority of the people lives in slums and chawl, daily millions of people travelling like herds of animal in trains, talking about Pakistan, google it or visit Pakistan to see the standard of living here, your iconic stars could hardly afford to live in an apartment where our normal middle class owns a house and a car to travel. you should call it ”dying India” instead of calling it ”shining India”Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Enjoyed reading this blog. Always nice to read such positive blogs especially when they are authored by Pakistanis. Glad you appreciate our culture. :)Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Blogs on travel destinations are always an ‘appetite – wetter ‘ . The pics are super. Thanx to you , Jaipur is now on my must-visit list .Recommend

  • Feroz

    Must appreciate the time and trouble taken by the author to go through the comments section and acknowledge some of them. Many have posted comments unconnected to the contents of the blog, not just digressing but also inadvertently exposing a certain inimical mindset. Anonymity has been taken as license to indulge in skulduggery.Recommend

  • Chitral wala

    He is the resident, Bharati troll.Recommend

  • Chitral wala

    You are sick. With a comment
    like this your hate is evident.Recommend

  • Chitral wala

    Hindus are also known as having a stunted gene.
    That precludes any normal and evident thought processes.
    They long for some imaginary ancient past, like an empire,
    that never existed. Like, plastic surgery, invented by hindus,
    all said by their very own PM Modi.
    Sometimes, Paks wonder about their Eastern Neighbor, wish
    they all move next to Japan, Antarctica, uninhabited islands
    in the Pacific, rent Siberia……Arctic?Recommend

  • wb

    Well, maybe it was the title that was wrong. Perhaps a better title would have been: “my rich experience in Jaipur” or something even more boring.

    Just the title doesn’t go well with the boring article.Recommend

  • wb

    Rangoonwala, don’t you also commit genocide of 3 million?Recommend

  • Rohan

    You could’ve just said ‘another professor’ , why the compulsive need to mention religion?Recommend

  • Rohan

    70 years of brainwashing them into hating Hindus and drilling the 2 nation theory into their heads has had ill effects on an average Pakistani mindRecommend

  • Ashish Shrivastav

    Thanks for visting and sharing your experience,Please Visit again for a longer period and enjoy the diversity of the country. Friend from Bharat.Recommend

  • Allah Hafiz

    Pakistan only has a minor fraction of anything..but we laugh when u compare Lulliwood with Bollywood and PSL with IPL….Recommend

  • Linux Novice

    We actually have professors of Science, Arts, Maths etc. here in India. Must be different there in Pakistan!Recommend

  • Linux Novice

    Simply because in India Hindu is a religion too and you haven’t introduced yourself or others as Muslim scholar, Sikh Scholar and so on. Never mind, these things are are deep seated in mind and comes out involuntarily. Recommend

  • Allah Hafiz

    Haha…Do not try to justify……I study in we call our professor…by names….and in India we simply call them Sir…

    So by your suggestion…Should i call….Hey catholic James,Hey Orthodox Hannah….Sunni Hassan….Sir Hindu Mahendra….that sounds funny…lol…Recommend

  • Allah Hafiz

    Land used is Hindustan….By your Logic…Its also funny how a people who once were Hindu’s,Buddhist take pride in some arabic desert foreign ideology..that is very funny…think of this….earth is flat,..sun revolves around the earth….thanks to scientist from other region..otherwise whole world would have been one big desert…with came running in pakistan…of different breed’s..Recommend

  • Linux Novice

    On that note I have a doubt. Can a vegetarian tourist survive (bare minimum will suffice) in North and Western parts of Pakistan? I would love to visit some time.Recommend

  • Linux Novice

    Why blame him for stating the obvious?!Recommend

  • Linux Novice

    Please visit often and other places too, we have a very diverse and colourful cultural collage here in India. That which we share with Pakistan is but a very small fraction of it. Next time visit some South Indian places. Salaam.Recommend

  • Abhishek

    Lovely article.. Just one point
    “My preconcieved notions bit the dust as soon as I landed”
    These were not preconceived notions, these are the notions planted very systematically in the Pakistani people. There is not a single place in india, where anyone has any issue with any muslim related to praying god in his own way as there is no restriction related to this in India. But when someone else say that his way is the only way, be it in terms of praying god or it other social as well as political affairs, it only increases rifts in that society, the never resolving differences and intolerance for everything that is different from you. This end up in a psychological disorder and there won’t be any peace left in any such society. Yes, here also problem arises but they come like a boil in milk. very rare and goes as if they never existed. That is power and resilience of Indian society and a 8000 year old civilization. Pakistanis are proud share holders of this past, but unfortunately most of them have been forced to believe that they do not own this.Recommend

  • j

    All the killing ? How many dead in the cities you mentioned ? is ut more than 50000, like in Pakistan? only a small no of Paksiatni actors come to work in India, well atleast they come ! How mnay Indian came to Pakistani for work and stayed back > ZERO. Show decensay when some one appreciated Indian culture , talks about Culture from a nation that all its life aped Arab culture sounds funny.Recommend