(Rajasthan, 1985)


Alun Buffry

Jaisalmer, oh Jaisalmer!

Not a lot of hassle here.

Just cows walking in the streets,

Adding smells to earthly heat,

Makes us want to drink more chai,

But "No milk!" the people cry.

All those cows yet still no milk,

All those shops that just sell silk,

Desert life's just not the same,

Camels struggling, what a shame,

To let us climb upon their backs

And if they moan they know the crack.

Driver up there perched on top

Passing songs until we stop

At water hole or shady tree

To eat a precious chapatti

Made by the men, full of pride,

Over fires with veggies fried,

In spices which do not have names,

But we don't care 'cos we have pains,

In legs and arms and even feet

From riding camels in this heat.

Three days the desert journeyed on,

We listened to the Rajputs' songs,

Passing temples, villages

Passed to us through ages.

Suddenly, the words we hear:

"See over there, sweet Jaisalmer!"