12 April, 2021

Sunset And Camels

Sunset And Camels
I'M being thrown up and down violently at half-second intervals, wondering if I'll be able to hang on to my lunch until the end of this bone-rattling camel ride in the desert. My mineral water bottle has cracked, spilling into my camera bag and onto my leg, and I get the feeling that I'm going to have a hard time sitting down in the morning. My Swedish companions, Lena and Eva, are far too taken with the peacocks and chinkara deer liberally sprinkled across the valley floor to worry about the discomfort. Mercifully, the beast slows down as we climb the magical sand dunes for the high point of the evening—a fiery desert sunset.

I have journeyed to Khuri, a small village 45 km south of Jaisalmer. Villages such as this one, within an hour's drive of Jaisalmer, depend almost entirely on tourism for their daily bread. The place has no less than nine village-style guest houses. And the tourist trade brings hefty profits: a chilled cold drink here commands Rs 15 (50 per cent more than in Jaisalmer) and a bottle of beer Rs 80. The owner of Mama Guest House, a burly Rajput,...

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