Today’s weekly photo challenge delves on the theme of “Lines“. Whether vertical or horizontal, hard or soft, straight or curvy – we see lines all around us, either formed naturally by the elements of nature or man-made as visible in cityscapes. This picture was taken on a trip to the Thar Desert. Also known as the Great Indian Desert, this is a large, arid region in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. The desert forms about ten percent of the total geographic area of India. About sixty percent of the desert lies in the state of Rajasthan, and extends into Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana. The desert is made up of two parts – an extremely dry portion in the west (called the Marusthali region), and a “semi” desert region in the east with fewer sand dunes and higher precipitation.
We had taken a trip to Jaisalmer, a city in Rajasthan also known as the “Golden City” on account of its past as a medieval trading center, and its distinguishable yellow sandstone architecture. Jaisalmer lies in the heart of the Thar desert. A group called “Mystic Jaisalmer” had organized a camel safari into the desert. The (one way) ninety minute camel ride takes you into the desert, where you stay overnight – even sleeping on an open mattress right under the desert sky with only the stars and moonlight for company. The company ties up with the locals who arrange for food and activities for their guests. This situation benefits all parties – the locals have an additional source of livelihood, and visitors receive a very homely experience with the local way of life.
Coming to the picture, I clicked this on one of the mornings as the sun was rising. I had taken a walk around – or rather a climb, moving up and across the dunes. This particular section was relatively flatter, but I loved the interplay of Lines and shadows. The curves moving parallelly were complete natural occurrences, and they zigzagged that way all along the dunes as well. The smaller spotted lines belong to a dog who had just walked by. Mystic Jaisalmer sends visitors in groups of nine people on nine camels. Along with the nine guests are the locals – one person handles two camels. And there are two dogs who join each caravan. Since we camp in the open, the dogs serve as a warning to any intruders entering the vicinity. The safari was completely safe – this was more for us to experience the locals’ way of life, when outsiders might attempt to steal their camels or belongings, so they always take two or three dogs along. The spotted lines blew away almost as soon as their owner walked past – as did my own footprints as I struggled around the dunes. But the parallel curved lines kept forming and were a constant throughout the expanse.