Going back to a time when writing meant an untidy blotchy scrawl on ruled sheets of paper with a fountain pen. Scrawl because the wind kept blowing the paper away from you. Insisting to fly away in freedom, without the weight of your words.
We realize how much in today’s day we miss conversations. We text, whatsapp, mail, facebook, tweet and just about do everything else. But we don’t talk. We don’t listen. We glance, but we don’t read. We understand, but we don’t feel. We are mechanical, just short of robots dancing to a tune everyday existing through everyday. But not living.
So with these existential doubts in my head, and sheer desperation to get away from a world full of sounds of keys typing, numbers crunching, yelling and screaming- I escaped to Neemrana, parents in tow. A long overdue holiday where the three of us would just spend time together. Whether talking, or playing scrabble, or bickering. When we could demonstrate the little things we do, to care and not let the gesture pass unnoticed by the others.
A very short less that 2 hour drive from our home in Gurgaon we would be reaching Neemrana. The morning saw our car packed with lovely homemade sandwiches, flagons of Orange juice and fruits! Old Hindi film songs, a little humming, a few conversations and lots of nostalgia helped the energy return. We stopped at mustard fields, at places for fresh guavas cut and eaten with chat masala on the road side, talking of little towns tucked away in time. Where we wish we take modern amenities, and thoughts, but retain the innocence.
The Neemrana Fort of the Delhi- Jaipur highway is probably the most convenient escape for people in Delhi and Gurgaon. As the hill-top fort approached, the inviting prospect of history, of heritage and the yearning to hear lost stories overwhelmed me!
Our booked room was amongst the ones further inside, allowing you to explore as you moved through the open gardens, the pool side, and the inward narrow pathways. Kiwads with uplocking systems, stained mirrors, fading paintings, large king beds, all gave an impression of the archaic yet lost luxury. The room since had its own garden allowed a recluse, and a wrapped in a blanket with tea moment. Iron, anti-rust tables strewn with dry leaves from the near-by tree allowed for thoughts to get penned on paper.
The grandeur of the fort is indescribable. The very looks of the 9 levels, the open courtyards, the ancient cannons, the maps punctuating each of the walls, give an impression of restored history. While some say that the sections of the fort as we see them today are recent contraptions designed to fit into heritage looks, I still want to read any such data, since the sensibilities only refuse to believe it- everything sits so seamlessly well together.
Looming out of a rocky hill, the heritage property also has a few concepts of architecture, recognizable to history students and readers. Several examples of the true arch, the decorative arch, the great gates to stall attack, slopes are evident.
Marketing makes experiences richer. Strategised inventories makes experiences complete. A classic Bentley, is housed just adjacent to the fort, which one can ride to areas around the fort to enjoy the feel of the old world. Camel and camel cart rides take you up to the Baori- an ancient structure wasting into ruin. There is no maintainence, no cleanliness. Lovers have decided to adorn its walls with their initials professing undying love for each other in the sacred walls of history- only to ruin and taint the masterpieces left to us. The baori with its brilliant detailing, and innumerable levels, and a very deep well joining it, reminds you how history is splattered across our geography. And how apathetic we seem to be towards it. With no railings, there is a tingling sensation in the feet as you approach the boundary to look down into its depths. Legend has it that the queens of the castle came here to bathe. And that there was a surang, that led to the castle, and one elsewhere.
More than the comfort it was the desperate bid of a getaway that was satiated through the two day holiday. The approach being comfortable, as was the stay and the overall experience. We abstained from connectivity, and the absence of Television and films was only a boon. Two days of unbridled conversations, relaxations and explorations made the trip a memorable one. For all those wanting to discover a life in the yesteryear, see you at Neemrana.
Below is a picture story of Neemrana Fort Palace:
-By Saumya Baijal