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Mar 2017

Place: Desert Cultural Centre & Museum

Exactly what the name advertised. It was run by an 80 year old man named N.K. Sharma. He collected a bunch of artifacts from all over the place himself to showcase the culture there to the rest of the world. It kinda reminded me of Seb’s from La La Land. We were there for a puppet show but the dude pretty much just did whatever he wanted. Sometimes he’d go up and give a speech, transitioning from Hindi to English back to Hindi (the English definitely was not just translations of the Hindi, seemed like he just said some lines in English when he felt like it), sometimes he’d sing a bit, sometimes there’d be the puppet show.

We spoke to him a bit before the show and he’s seen a lot in his lifetime! When he was born, Jaisalmer was still ruled by a Maharawal and had a seat in the British Raj. When he was in his teens, India gained its independence and Jaisalmer united as part of the state of Rajasthan. Pakistan wanted Rajasthan but ultimately Rajasthan decided to join India.

The puppet show was pretty neat. The puppets looked simple enough, held up by just a couple strings, yet they could do some intricate things like hold up the dress they’re wearing with their hands. And the show was on a bunch of random subjects like “a boy’s emotions as he plays and loses and re-finds his ball” and “a man’s relationship to his camel” and “a man reincarnates into a woman and back into a man” (which he preceded with a speech on treating women well because this could happen to you).

Food: Thums Up

I was told before this was basically Indian Coca-Cola! …Except there’s actual Coca-Cola here… and Thums Up is made by Coca-Cola Co… so not sure what that was supposed to mean. It tasted slightly different from coke though. Similar initial taste, a medicinal after taste. The third ingredient on the list is acidic regulator 338, whatever that is.

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