Day 729 | November 24, 2015 | Pushkar, India

Sitting on a sofa in a veranda facing Pushkar lake, a thick blanket keeping me warm from the 4am chill, I could feel the devotees' chants electrifying the air, like thousands of little wings on your skin, a swarm of bees. I hadn't been able to sleep. The indistinguishable prayers haunted the edge of my consciousness. So instead, decided to embrace the wakefulness to soak it all up. People were going into the lake, lighting candles, and making offerings to their gods, primarily the Trimurti. Behind the row of ghats sat the moon, almost full, resplendent in orange. Watched as the moon slowly disappeared from the horizon, and the colours of morning took over, and listened to the ebb and flow of articulated hopes.

Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India, among the sacred pilgrimage sites for devout Hindus. Around the lake, there are 52 ghats where pilgrims can descend to bathe in holy water. I understand what drives people to pilgrimage, though I am self-professed areligious. The seeking of a higher energy you're struggling to sustain on your own. To recover your "muchness" after life has thrown many things your way, both bad and good. This place is like a charging dock -- reconnected to earth and many gods, disconnected from real life, to be able to look at life and self from a different vantage point. Surrendered, and offered a humble gift to the universe. Clean heart, fervent wishes, the best of intentions, and a commitment to authenticity in words and actions. And it's a cosmic coincidence, that the consistent message I received was to simply "trust and let go."

India is not for the soft. It is hard edges and starkness that overwhelms. But that doesn't mean it's core is not delicate. In this place, there is so much to hope for. Moksha and peace. A deficit in sleep, perhaps, but twilight memories that will sustain.

We were there towards the tail-end of Pushkar Fair, and saw a place that usually only has about 20,000 residents packed with more than 100,000 pilgrims and revellers. Added into the list of places I will definitely go back to, next time when the fair is not going on. Here are some of my images from Pushkar -- Let them tell the story...

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