Celebrate India – Teej with Yatra.comHaving lived in a metropolitan city all my life, I’ve had very limited opportunities to experiencethe true Indian culture with all its complex rituals and ceremonies. I grew up watching movieslike Hum Aapke Hain Kaun and Hum Saath Saath Hain, which display the Indian culturemagnificently through the celebration of festivals like Karva Chauth and Teej. Thankfully, Jaipuris one of those few metropolitan cities where Teej is still celebrated with all the pomp and showof years gone by. Since I am not the one who misses opportunities, I grabbed on to an invitationfrom one of my Rajput friends. After my 12th board exams I conveniently chose to visit himduring Teej.Teej is a celebration of the arrival ofmonsoon rains. It generally falls in theMonth of August or early September.This festival commemorates the union ofGoddessParvati and Lord Shiva, so on thisday, women also pray for their husband’swell being. The name of the festival isderived from a small red insect named‘Teej’ that comes out of the soil duringrains. And the best feature of the festivalis that it’s a three-day gig. And with thetrademark Rajput hospitality at your service, three days just don’t seem enough.I wanted to get to Jaipur as early as possible in the morning. The bus takes approximately 5-6hours to reach Jaipur from Delhi. My friend’s Haveli was huge and made according to traditionalRajput architecture. The Havelihoused several families under it (I do not think I have ever seena bigger joint family till date) and so the introductions took a while. I was dead tired because oftravelling, so I was shown to my room where I slept right through the afternoon. During earlyevening, my friend and his cousins took me out for a city tour in their open jeep, which wasquite splendid. The entire city is filled up with brilliant architecture (from Hawa Mahal to JantarMantar, from Jal Mahal to Jaipur Quila) and every monument is unique in itself, so much that itis impossible to see each of them even in 2 weeks. But I got a chance to visit a couple of thebuildings mentioned above. We left early because they had planned to take me to atraditional Rajasthani restaurant named Chokhi Dhanifor dinner. It took a while to get therebecause it is on the outskirts of the city but if ever you find yourself in Jaipur, believe me, theexperience is worth the time.
We returned around midnight. I woke up early, as my friend told me that elders would getupset if we were late for pooja. When I entered the pooja ghar I was awestruck by the beautyof the decorations (I must tell you that Rajasthan has an amazing handicraft industry, so don’tforget to pack a few souvenirs when you visit). After the pooja, the traditional ghevar sweetwas distributed as prasadam to everyone as it is the traditional sweet of the festival.After the pooja I spent the entire day in the Haveli interacting with the family members, somequite modern, some very traditional and some plain intimidating (the elder ones with longbushy moustaches :P). There is a tradition of putting up swings on trees and verandas for thewomen of the house. I could see them in friendly banter amongst themselves for their chancebecause there weren’t as many swings for all ofthem.As the evening drew near, the aroma from the openkitchen in the courtyard started to fill the air and itwas time was the evening feast. Following dinner,all the daughters and daughter-in-laws werepresented with gifts from the elders. After thatthere was lot of traditional singing and dancing,which went on till mid night.Well over the next couple of days there was plentyof feasting, lots of poojas, trips around the city inthe open jeep. As expected, time flew in a jiffy. I could have stayed longer, but getting stuck inone place is not my thing. So I packed my bags, thanked the entire family for their over-the-topgenerosity and headed home on the same route under a similar sky.Long live the Rajput sons and may their bahu-betis always celebrate Teej.Connect with Yatra.com on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well.