with just a few hours to leave, we made a trip to sawantwadi to have a look at the famous wooden toys market. which hasn’t changed a bit since the time i had been there about a decade back. same dusty old shops, same people, same crop of tourists.
we headed to the sawantwadi palace, which was quite a treat. the queen still stays there. she’s a bit wary of travelers looking through her home. we came to know that she is the only one, probably the last person upholding the art of making ganjifa cards. meticulously painted on thin slices of wood, these are extremely beautiful to look at. a pack would have set us back by about three thousand rupees. better sense prevailed, and we went on to have a look at the queen’s personal art collection. which was again a treat in itself.
found this lovely old typewriter in one of the rooms. the queen was sitting right across the room in the lawn and she saw me fiddle with this thing. she immediately ordered one of her employees to get me out of there, as the room apparently contained some personal, secret documents.
that’s the queen with her husband. absolutely love the depth in these old photographs. so much texture, so much detail, such enigmatic brilliance.
following are pictures from the queen’s personal art collection, carefully assembled from her visits abroad and to the interiors of the country.
so that was my trip to sawantwadi. finally managed to finish the post. in two months, it will be a year since we made this journey, sitting in a cramped bus, with horrid a movie on the tv. and everyone getting a bad cold, courtesy of pratima. and the most awesomest prawns ever, glasses of sol kadhi and chicken curry and rice at tarkarli…
shank’s probably coming over this year end. one more trip in the offing, then! this time, i wont take a year to put up the pictures 🙂