I remember exclaiming loudly to Gopi (our auto driver for this trip) “yeah kya hai?” (what place is this)? He replied, “Hawa Mahal” (Palace of Winds would be the rough translation). I wonder how I had never crossed it before in all my previous trips to Jaipur! But Sunil and I were so tired by the evening that we refused to get out of the auto, the place would anyway be closed. Both of us clicked pictures of Hawa Mahal from inside the auto.
Very soon we were near Chand Pol gate and Gopi pointed out, “kuch samay pahle yahan per hi Hanuman temple ke paas bomb chale the” (a while ago it was only near this place, where the Hanuman Temple is, the bombs went off). I did not think much about it then, though for that moment I definitely shivered for a second. I mean the place as chock-o-full with traffic of all kind (pedstrains, cycles, cows, cars, motorcycles and what not, I wonder if it was like that when the bombs went off in Jaipur in May 2008). Even a fire cracker could cause a panic around this place! I keep thinking of this incident much more now, after the Mumbai terror attacks.
Would never stop me from going where ever I want and yet I just can’t get over Mumbai. But of course there were so many travelers in Jaipur this November in spite of the bomb blasts of May 2008.