I am feeling sad leaving Jaipur this year. It has been an overwhelmingly positive and nurturing time and I feel energised by the creativity, the wit and the participation in the Festival.
We head out of Jaipur and we see the usual traffic chaos but also the way pedestrians manage to weave their way in and out of the traffic. We head out towards the Amber Fort, the road full of the little shops selling the sweet and savoury snacks and congratulate ourselves at making good progress on the road.
Spoken a little too soon. Outside Delhi there is a small deviation where they are remaking the road. The traffic slows and then comes to a grinding halt as four lanes squueze into one - but however good the Indian driver is at being squeezed, (and they are masters at this,) they are also good at finding ways to escape and get to their destinations faster. Without wasting any thoughts on traffic regulations and rules, the cars just in front of us decide that the wait is too long, so a quick jump across the central reservation finds them travelling down the motorway in the wrong direction to all the coming traffic !
We look upon all this with some degree of amusement and considerable envy it has to be said. A trip that was meant to take 4 or so hours became a marathon of immobility of 8. I can hardly believe it but I actually missed the excitement of it all and took the opportunity to jump out of the car and record some of these mad moments. We approached Delhi and my old neighbourhood. The smog hung heavily over the entire city and in all the days I was there, there was not a hint of blue in the sky.