I still have those folk music, ringing bells, a cool stone way walk and a big fountain splashing into the pool in my senses. Sanskriti – A place in Pune, tied together with richness of art and culture from multiple states of India.
To be honest, I was not at all sure if I really wanted to go there when my wife and family friends first proposed it. I thought it would be just another place filled with hell of a crowd dancing to the tune of money and funny fashion. However, I was glad to see that it was just the place I would have preferred.
Around 18KM from Pune Station on Hadapsar – Solapur road, deep in the midst of lush greenery and warm welcome, its a place to visit at least once.
I had just stepped in and a clown wearing long stripped pajama and walking on two strong sticks, took my daughter in his hand and I could literally see her smiling and laughing like anything. I took some pics of her. I still smile when I see them.
Just in front was a podium were some people watching a Manipuri Dance performance – It was great. My family and I too spend some minutes watching them while having the snacks. There were lot of shows following the dance like, Juggling, Magic shows and all that jazz.
We moved curiously towards a guy in a small garden adjacent to the podium who was wearing this Rajasthaani Dress and was very happy to perform “Kachhi Godhi” Dance for us. This is a dummy horse dance. Hence the name Kachhi Ghodi. It is one of the popular folk dances in Rajasthan. A welcome dance performed during marriages . A dancer gets into the elaborate gear of a prancing-horse. With swords in hand, they swing to the sound of drums and fifes. A singer narrates the exploits of the Bavaria bandits of Shekhawati.
One of us also managed to get a chance to have that dummy horse dressed on our shoulder and dance while the guys drummed for us – a Kodak moment.
Around the corner, there were ladies sitting for their turn to have Menhdi (Heena, temporary form of skin decoration in Indian Sub-continent) applied on their hands and some to enjoy those hair beads.
I heard some clapping from the back and just noticed a puppet show going on. Trust me you would rarely find these things in today, in fact would be more appropriate to say never in Pune city. But this opportunity was awesome and could hardly wait to grab the front row seat. It was beautiful and kudos to the guys who have still kept these richness of culture alive. I would have really not gone any where else if the showman had not taken a break for 10 minutes, but sometimes, its your good fortune that drives you to another interesting thing.
We just walked on the stone ways along other small gardens and pools of splashing fountains. I could feel those fine drops of water on my face drifted away by the cold breeze through the fountains. I stopped by the pool and was just enjoying that very moment when I sighted a beautiful pink lotus in the middle of the pool, it was half way through to its full bloom but was still looking very serene and sound.
There were few other interesting corners like the Palm Reader, Taro Card Reader, and a bunch of sand filled children park. I was next pulled by my wife to another food stall where we had some soft drink and paani puri. I generally like places where there is something for everyone and this was it. My wife went straight to the palm reader stall while I grabbed my daughter and headed to the sand pool where she enjoyed the swings. Though she was a bit tired but could not stop herself from flashing that beautiful smile every time she cut through the breeze which had turn a bit colder by this time. It was late evening, though people were still making entries and gathering around the different shows which were still spot on.
We thought we should be leaving now but to my surprise there was still more to come – An open air amphitheater, jammed up with people dancing on the floor to the live orchestra and singers. This group was commendable. They not only were singing popular folks but also some songs on-demands. Cool isn’t it! We halted there for a while listening folk and indian and then on our way to dine we also spotted altogether another ghazhal singer on his Harmonica, pleasing the ghazal lovers. Just outside that was our Dining where we sat and enjoyed the food and spend about an hour again to regain our tiresome but enjoyable evening.
By the time we started for the parking area, it was night but still could see the same enthusiasm of the different show performers and my friend – the tall clown, swinging in his arms another cute baby without a glipme of tireness – Its true, The Show Must Go On…
My family and I had a great time at Sanskriti, hope to visit it again … would love to see that pink lotus all bloomed, stand by the fountain and listen to those beautiful folk songs again.
PS: Of course, this is not suppose to be a paid review ;)