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Jaipur, Truck Painters, Protests and Being

The sign I Made for my sister at Transport Nagar

Jaipur is finally sunny today after weeks of rain but with the sunshine comes heat. Today consisted of picking up a dress I made with the help of Jo, a meeting with a wonderfully creative lady who has been massively successful through being herself and naturally designed beautiful things, picking up the kids at City Palace, going to the pool and packing for tomorrow. Tomorrow after lunch I’ll begin my 3 day sitting at Dhamma Thali and I’m fairly blind as to what will take place. I met someone I know from Jaipur the other day who said it’s like prison and the second largest Vipassana centre in India!! However this just made me have less expectations and be more open.

Jaipur really is a haven for the creative and today we also witnessed what happens when one man takes a stand for the country. Anna Hazare has been on a starvation protest to fight against corruption in the country. I didn’t realise this was going on until a wave of protests erupted across the city. The protests have been peaceful and today the traders across the city didn’t open their doors until late afternoon to show their support. Very inspiring compared to our London protests of violence and anger. It will be really interesting to see where it all goes, if it goes anywhere. We were sitting in the car today reading the paper and a pamphlet dropped out which was supposed to be for the 16th August and called for people to take part in the protests against corruption yet it was 2 days late! That alone says it all…

As for me in Jaipur, things are looking up but I’m still a little achy from the boy bashing! However I know this whole episode triggered the very frightened and lost Natalie so for this I’m grateful. It’s always good for me to go down sometimes and remember what it’s like to be in a position where one feels completely hopeless and lost. Once you’re there, you accept it’s so and ride the high waves…If you can. It also allows me to delve a little deeper into my Being and see what lies in the depths of my unconscious, sleeping quietly yet subtly knocking me about.

We have also had a lot of fun making signs in Transport Nagar. This place was discovered by my aunt Anabel who decided to make a sign for her partner when he arrived at Delhi Airport. She wanted it to say – Steve, Horn Please – in a true authentic truck style. What I mean by this, is that all the trucks in India are painted in bright colours with various different symbols and signs and always “Horn Please” on the back. You understand once you’ve sat in a car in India and witnessed how the horn is the mirror! What’s so special about going to Transport Nagar to have the sings painted is how they are so innocent and still very authentic. They haven’t been touched by western cravings and still have the sparkle in their eye of living life as it has to be. Their art work is also fantastic and after some trials and errors we got there in the end. Then what’s so brilliant is that you can let your own imagination run wild and work with these natural artists to create what you wish – with an Indian twist!

I will say one more thing and then it’s bed time for me. I was in the taxi the other night and the usual Indian male to western female question came up; are you married? I said maybe. Then I had a lecture on how I am too old, I should be married. All women in India are married by the time they are 18 or so. All men by 23 latest. I am 25 – this makes me old and then he proceeded to explain how sex and children in your 20’s is great, 30’s is okay but not enjoyable anymore and then it’s all down hill from there. He also asked me what contraception I used by which point I had to leave the car! This is very Indian but it did make me feel a bit old. Where is my soul mate then?! Only kidding but sometimes being in this whirlwind land of India you do get swept away by the madness and beauty of it all and I can’t help wondering about love and companionship. Perhaps it’s also because Rajasthan is the land of royalty, gems, romance, creation and exploration.

The Trucker Painters

I will write again after my Vipassana weekend!

Natalie x

ps – HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful sister Saskia xx

Further Links & Details

For sign making and painting:

M.A Spray Painter – Maroof Art Center, B-12-14, Automobile Nagar, Delhi by pass road, Jaipur.

Call Munawar for more details and when is a good time to go along on +91 (0)9414308896 and mention my name: Natalie




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