Monday, February 22, 2010

Shakespeare at Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Last night we went to a fabulous performance of Macbeth in the gardens of Mehrangarh Fort, and what a fabulous evening! After paying our 40Rs, we walked down the stairs to be greeted by durries (flat woven rugs) and big bolsters on the lawn, but even better there was a bar!! I had a glass of white wine for the exorbitant price of 360 Rs (about $9) but I DID NOT CARE. That sounds very much as tho' I was yearning for wine, and it's true, I was! As for the play, it was wonderful. The cast is a young troupe from the UK, and they had shortened the play to about 1.5 hours. Most of the soliloquies were handled by a beautiful singer (a capella) with a very haunting and ethereal voice, so perfect for the setting. The acoustics were terrific--the singer's voice rang out around the ramparts, and the actors projected every vowel and consonent beautifully.
We left Jodhpur around 9 AM, and after a long car journey (about 6 - 7 hours) reached the outskirts of Jaipur. Again the roads were very interesting--lots of transport trucks (highly decorated with fancy lettering, e.g. "Please honk", "Wait for side", "Use dipper at night" and lots of tinsel and dodads hanging off the side mirrors. I wrote about Indian traffic in my first post--I found it very challenging then, but I'm much more relaxed now. I've come to appreciate the graceful choreography of it all! Best of all, no one gets enraged about being cut-off or stopped. It all feels very calm. We have yet to witness any crashes, altho' we have certainly felt that there have been close calls. Our driver Kan Singh, is very sedate and we feel like the royal family being driven hither and yon.
Just on the outskirts of Jaipur, we stopped at the village of Bagru to find the block printers. We found one workshop very quickly (it was well sign posted), and sure enough, this is the same workshop patronized by Maiwa of Vancouver...Charlotte Kwon was just here a few days ago. We were shown the whole process, from the bales of undyed cotton cloth to the block printing (many layers), mud resist, and indigo vats. Interesting that they still do a lot of chemical dyes for the inernal Indian market because Indians want bright colours, whereas they export the fabric made from natural dyes. Charlotte Kwan has had a lot of influence in creating this market for them. I of course bought a several metres mainly of indigo block and mud resist prints...
Tomorrow we will be visiting the Anokhi farm and workshops ( and I'll write more then. There is a great computer room here at the hotel (4 computers) .
Thanks so much for your comments. I love knowing that I have readers!


  1. Hi Janet,
    Christine Pilgrim did the hilarious "3 Minute Hamlet" at the Aura Cabaret Saturday night - she was MC - not as ethereal as your Hamlet.

  2. Shakespeare in an Indian park.
    As soon as I read Bagru and block printers, I thouhgt of Maiwa. I have a few of their pieces and just love the block printing. The cotton is indestructable.

    Your posts are all so interesting.