‘Life is a strange, humdrum affair,” wrote Chaman Nahal in his famous short story, The Silver Lining, “where even a few moments of peace snatched should be gratefully acknowledged.” Well, life in Delhi, amid all the hustle and bustle, often makes one crave a moment&’s tranquility and the capital is the capital, never quite serene!
The monotony had just begun to get a grip on me when I decided to take a break. I was looking for a Tagore kind of a setting, quiet and serenity, with just nature around, where one could easily contemplate and toy with thoughts. Then a friend suggested I spend some time in Fairmont, Jaipur. I dismissed the idea initially, given that the mercury rises to unbearable levels in Rajasthan during the summer; but seeing the photographs of the property getting feedback from my friend I had second thoughts and early the next morning boarded the Ajmer Shatabdi for what was to be one of the most memorable weekends of my life.
The courteous staff at the Fairmont received us at the railway station and after a smooth half-hour drive we arrived at the impressive establishment and what a luxury it was being welcomed with a glass of Moet and Chandon champagne while rose petals were showered on us and Rajasthani folk singers celebrated our presence in the royal kingdom!
After checking into our respective rooms, we were surprised to find a classical urban Fairmont bath ritual awaiting us! The floating rose petals and the exotic smell of sandalwood lulled me into state of self-possession almost immediately. The tiredness of the journey, the hangover of a routine lifestyle and the cacophony of Delhi no longer assailed my nerves.
A pre-crafted menu by executive chef Manpreet Singh, containing an Asian sampler of fish in lemon coriander sauce, a Malay-style chicken curry, stir fried Asian vegetables in a black bean sauce and jasmine rice awaited. After lazing around for a while, I stepped out to explore the iconic property.
Nestled in the Pink City, the Fairmont has grown into a hub for tourists and visitors from across the world looking to explore and discover a history that is rich and vibrant even today, as is evident in the city&’s breathtaking forts and palaces. Tranquil gardens and broad avenues — which were painted pink in 1876 to welcome the Prince of Wales — add to the historic charm and rich culture of this unforgettable city. The Fairmont Jaipur is an ode to the capital of Rajasthan, its awe-inspiring architecture and decor inspired by the Mughal dynasty and Rajput royalty of yore. This luxury hotel is nestled among the majestic Aravalli Hills, all 199 rooms and suites elegantly appointed to reflect a perfect blend of traditional Rajasthani décor and modern amenities.
Seven restaurants and lounges offer a diverse dining portfolio – from royal Rajasthani cuisine and Mediterranean-inspired dishes to champagne cocktails and the city&’s largest chocolate buffet. There&’s international cuisine at “Zoya”, which also prides itself on a dedicated menu featuring authentic Rajasthani cuisine. One can lounge in the elegant “Aza Library bar” that serves signature cocktails and then there&’s “Anjum”, which offers the well known Fairmont culture of tea drinking, with an Indian twist offering speciality teas, homemade pastries, cookies and cakes and unparalled views of the distant hills.
“Zarin” is the hotel&’s signature Mughal cuisine-inspired restaurant, complete with a King&’s Bazaar, and for an indulgent, opulent experience “Cigar Diwan” is a classic smoking room with a rich, masculine feel. The “Pool Bar” has a cocktail deck tucked away in a beautiful shaded area and offers the height of indulgence. For a taste of the unexpected, the Fairmont Jaipur&’s Roof-top Restaurant and bar features an open-air design influenced by Moorish West Asian traditions.
Glancing at the two lion statues that stared at me with their eloquent eyes, demonstrating the bravery that our Rajput kings were once known for, I penned a short story on two Rajput brothers separated by circumstances but brought together by their collective courage. On a moonlit Saturday night I penned a fictional tale of stars that communicate with each other and envy the enthusiasm reflected by earth&’s atmosphere. On another occasion, I managed to recall the girl I once would dream about back in school in Darjeeling and penned a poem for her. Altogether, it was a strange situation for me to comprehend. In Delhi, the words would evade me but at Fairmont Jaipur fiction flowed from my pen. As I sat back on the train taking me home to Delhi, I couldn’t help but recall the words of Chaman Nahal that afforded me the chance of snatching a weekend at the Fairmont Jaipur.