I was in Ajmer last month for a Rajshri production film shoot. It was a month long shoot, most of it indoors (thankfully! with temp. outside soaring upto 45 degrees celsius). The shoot ofcourse went off really well...but what I came back with...was not just a great shoot experience...but much more than that. The culture, the architecture, the language, and not to forget the 'daal-baati-choorma, the 'kachoris', the 'lassi' and the 'son halwa'...made for a great Ajmer experience and some lovely memories.
Journey by road....from Jaipur airport to Ajmer, the city of Dargah and Pushkar.
The beautiful Merwara palace, the hotel where we were putting up in. A beautiful hotel on the outside, but sorry to say, the service was not one of the best. Infact, I find it rather sad how all these palaces are getting converted into hotels.
Chinese dustbins adorning the beautiful palace-hotel....So much for being royal !
The 'Old Haveli', where we were shooting...also happens to be the director's relatives' place. A beautiful labyrinthine haveli. So many times I would feel like a fool coz I would jsut get lost in that haveli. I would come to the haveli in the morning and see people setting up on the second floor, I would take the flight of steps to reach the second floor, and well...I would just be lost !!! Yes, I would be on the second floor, somewhere on the second floor, but definitely not at the set, and then I would sheepishly take the flight back and follow a spot-boy to the final destination :)
Preparations before the shoot.
The oldest family member of the haveli, also the director's grandmother.
The dressroom, which apparently was shut for the past 100 years or so, and had been opened especially for the shoot. I had such an eerie feeling when I heard that the room had been shut for so many years, although it was wiped out soon enough by the positivity of that place. The two dressmen, Mallik (on left) and Sujeet.
This is no ordinary by-lane by the one that buzzes with men and money during the day, for this is the 'khazana gali', the street that houses countless goldsmiths. This is the street, where starting right from a thin sheet of gold, some beautiful pieces of jewelery is made.
Ramnavmi. I didnt know ramnavmi was celebrated with so much fervour. Small and big processions in the day and so well lit in the night, the small city of Ajmer on Ramnavmi looked extremely beautiful and picturesque.
Gareeb Nawaz Dargah. I avoid going to religious places, because they make me uncomfortable. But since the haveli we were shooting in, was just about 5 minutes from the Dargah, I decided to pay it a visit. What I felt there was nothing less than overwhelming. I went there again on my last day in the city and took this picture.
Visit to a few temples in Ajmer.