The most outstanding feature of the trip to Jaipur that summer was the puppet show organized in Amer Fort by the locales. The royal setting, the melodious music of Saarangi and dhol, the striking color in the dull background of desert kept me captivated despite the heat and over bright sunshine. Everything became lively and pleasurable with drawing of the curtains. The puppets danced so expertly in the hands of artist sitting high above the stage with seemingly hundreds of strings in his hands. The story depicted was of kings, queens, slaves, ascetics etc.
Gauri was sitting beside me in the bus during our journey back home. She seemed to be lost somewhere in her own world. I decided to hit on a conversation to know what it was that held her thought and attention. I said, ‘So how did you like the puppet show’? ‘Oh it was very nice!’ said she. ‘But how is that the show man could handle so many strings at one go without mixing them? He just knew when to pull which string to bring forth the right moment in the right rag doll’ she asked with expressions of confusion on her face. ‘Expertise is attained through focus and constant practice’, I explained to the young girl.
Though I had answered her as a matter of factly but somewhere I myself was not convinced of it. The strings of material modes that bind us so tightly and make us think or do in a particular way are held by the creator sitting somewhere above this world. Why has He been so cruel as to bind us in these strings? Does he want all of to suffer? Is he having some kind of fun making us dance like puppets on the world’s stage?