I got to catch the most amazing dance performance i have seen to date. The Jasnathi men of Bikaner perform the fire dance. The mood was sombre, quite unlike anything i have seen in Rajasthani culture before. A fire is lit on a stage with charcoal and wood. Men attired in white dhoti-kurta and yellow turbans walk / dance around the fire to a strangely sombre music of cymbals. They jump, clap and suddenly one of them will walk on to the fire and stand on it or sit on it. Not just for a split second either. They will also reverentially walk up to another seated man who will give them a glowing ember that they will eat and then spew embers out of their mouth. The men appear to be in a trance-like state through out. Finally, they kick the fire around and the dance ends.
Phew! Very strange and totally worth a 120 km drive. Of course, we also played on the sand, kicking and throwing it around like 6-year olds. And also took a ride on a camel cart that was super fun. And ended the evening with a dinner at a Dhaba.
(That's the 4 of us who went to LCF - Mohit, Prerna, Pooja and Me)