Perfectly Groomed Masculinity

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Walking into the fort of Jaisalmer, you will be amazed by its massive fort wall, cobble stone streets, intricately crafted gates, and pristine location; walking down the narrow lanes of the old town, fabric stores loaded with colourful prints, smell of chai mixes the smell of spices in the air, crowed with traders, shoppers and cows, you get an idea what Jaisalmer once was, but today this old town has lost its glitters, you can only imagine how glorious this old town was, once the most important trading town connects India and Central Asia.

I came to Jaisalmer at the end of January 2012, when they held the annual Jaisalmer Desert Festival, there from dancing troops, parade of heavily decorated camels, image of the old Jaisalmer emerged to me: gold and jewelry shops abound, rich businessmen and their women opulently dressed, majestic camel caravans upload and unload their goods next to tea houses.

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Then the most interesting to me was the beauty competition of men, Mr. Desert, instead of wearing suits or speedo, they had a piece of white cloth wrap around their legs, showing a bit of their hairy shins above those pointy flat shoes, turbans was tied on their head, heavily embroidered vests were like costumes in movies. This is a dress code I don’t normally find sexy, but it all make sense in Jaisalmer.

Then I had never seen men who groomed themselves so meticulously, over the top and wear big draping ear-rings! No way! But they still remain masculine and “straight”, then you think, “oh yes, this must be what princes look like.”

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