You can’t fully appreciate the meaning of the word surreal until you have fed yourself with almost chimerical sights of a richly layered sky against a picturesque city, suffused by the luminous glow of the sunset hour. Standing on the terrace of a legendary institution, the Rajasthan School Of Arts, this claim seems corollary with the fiery sun undulating its hues on a city I deeply cherish- in its varying states of prettiness and disarray.
I look around and I see Jaipur as it is. Rows of modest cemented houses packed together like they’re involved in a creative conspiracy. And supervising them up above on a hilltop is the Nahagarh fort. It’s December, therefore if you look above, you will see diamond-shaped buoyant kites in various colors taking flight and meeting the horizon. Jaipur hence, to me, is a grand skillet of creativity with active and potent ingredients that make it an artist’s muse. It is a space that becomes a catalyst for independent creators and untainted perspectives, lush lyricism and sensitivity.
It is no wonder that as a part of my Jaipur series, I collaborated with people that reflect the city’s persona.
Anshika Khandaka is a young and bubbly designer based in Jaipur whose designs take you to a romantic world on their own. Her store is lined with sorbet-hued designs, sprinkled with delicate embroidery, feminine cuts, a few ruffles here and a few drapes there. I picked the most vibrant-colored outfit in the store, with a drape texture that screamed contemporary- Indian fashion.
Prachi Sharma, my partner-in-creative-crime/ an incredible woman photographer based in Jaipur, suggested that we shoot at the Rajasthan School of Arts- an institution that was started in 1857 A.D. with the name ‘Madarsa-e-Hunari’ i.e., the Institute Of Arts. Since then, it has been an instigator in the field of art- nurturing and promoting contemporary art and culture in the state. With a large corncupia of a glorious past which goes on to relentlessly provide inspiration, the building, to us, was a perfect example of bringing the past into perspective in the contemporary world.
Hence, allow us to present to you the enchantments of this city through our travel editorial.