Rajasthan & Agra: Class VI Excursion
by Riad Mahmood
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 2013 09:46:11 +0530
Last night, out of the woodwork, we were joined by an interesting lady from Belgium. At first we thought she was just visiting but to our surprise she was going to be one of our guides in Jaipur. Yes, hard to believe, but she is a language teacher from Antwerp who spends a good part of the year with foreign tourists in India.
She seems to know our history better than we do. Hedwige Smekens! Loves to travel and takes people across Europe and to India. Every time she took the microphone on our bus the children would be all ears. They found her different and interesting. She was friendly and spoke with a gentle voice. Her presence brought on a good feeling. Another learning experience for all of us.
Our morning visit to Amber Fort was interesting. We had a local guide who did his bit. He was an energetic man who was oblivious to the occasional lack of interest from all of us and went on giving a running commentary of what I presume is some form of spoken history. Passionate nevertheless, and I am sure, fairly accurate.
Our evening trip to the Jaipur City Palace was nice. The children, especially the boys, were excited to see the "Polo Jerseys" of the royals on display. The cricket crazy gang asked about the Mansingh Stadium and its location.
It was interesting to see some of the girls writing diaries. In fact, some said that they were noting down facts as well as their thoughts. I am always happy to meet young writers or people interested in sharing their thoughts. The walks through these forts and palaces are different. You usually have large crowds of people from all parts of the world moving through the narrow passages that are dark and suddenly open into courtyards. The tour guides hold their moments of glory and keep their audiences engaged. As expected children lose focus from time to time and snap back in when they hear something exciting. I guess this is the case with all of us.
I must add here that our children have taken to the conditions with grace and have exhibited great self management skills. It has been crowded from time to time. Tomorrow we head to Agra!! But for now we enjoy some famous Jaipur chaat.
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