Friday Feature: Faces of India

Who: Folk musicians and dancers
Where: At Chokhi Dhani, near Jaipur, Rajasthan
What: These are real folk singers and dancers who come to Chokhi Dhani, a faux village that comes to life every night.It's a riot of color, music, dance, street food and a traditional vegetarian dinner. Saying any more will take away from the pictures. Enjoy!

Friday Feature: Faces of India

Who: The phone-wala
Where: Old Delhi, India
What: This caricature exists in real life. We went back to our apartments after a decade and the junction box was the same: wide open, wires tangled and hanging out, pigeons looking at making their next nest there. The phone-wala's job is unenviable. The lines go down frequently, even more so during the monsoons, and they have to bear with irate customers breathing down their necks, asking: Kitna time lagega?

The phone-wala is a wiry man, often stubborn and mostly unappreciated. But tell me, what mood would you be in if you had to work your way through a maze of wires on a daily basis?

Rich like the Maharaja

Quick! Let's storm the palace!
Quick! Let's storm the palace!

I'm kidding, of course! The poor man was asleep in the heat of the day inside the City Palace of Jaipur, the capital city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is India's largest state and most of it is desert. As it is in the desert, days are hot and nights are cool. In winter, days are hot—even if the local folks wear their woolen finery during the day—and nights are cooler, with temperatures dropping below freezing in parts of the state.

They must have been really tall people. Not!
We tried to announce our arrival but who can reach those door knockers?

Sawai Jai Singh II, the Maharaja of Jaipur, built the City Palace in the mid-1700s using Rajput, Mughal and European styles of architecture.

If you're wondering which architectural style places door knockers that high up, I would hazard a guess and say it would be Rajput or Mughal. Visitors usually arrived on elephants and their mahouts used long sticks to beat those door knockers. Or maybe they had monkeys who were trained to...I jest!