Bundi’s collection of baoris–stepwell reservoirs–which I mentioned in the previous blog post proved tranquil spots to hang out at; well, until some guy approached you trying to sell something and then got bolshy when you declined and tried to get back to what had been a zen moment.
Another memory from Bundi is of the Rajasthan woman who swept the floor of the hotel where I was staying. I noticed her while I was eating lunch, as skinny as a rake, wrapped in her sari, and making her way around the room on her haunches, sweeping away at the floor. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, which I think she noticed, as she flicked a couple of glances my way as she swept.
I never plucked up the courage to try to speak with her, instead continuing to make surreptitious eye contact; not speaking Hindi was an obvious hindrance, plus I wondered that I might risk a riot by the local men if I tried hitting on her, because if she’d given me an inkling in reply I’d have jumped in both feet first with goodness knows what consequences.
A mystery that I took with me from Bundi occurred on my last night there. I was reading in bed, when I heard what sounded like a knock on the door. I then sat in bed, wondering if I was imagining things, then figured, no, it must have been a knock, and finally got out of bed to open the door.
No one–I’ve always wondered if I’d answered sooner whether it might have been her, stood there wearing her ankle bracelets, her dark eyes underneath the shroud of her green sari.