By Rich Stapleton
The images are unforgettable; thick blue plaster, turquoise lattice work, red painted hand prints pressed onto walls, crimson cloth wound into turbans. Two decades after Steve McCurry captured the colours of Jodhpur, much of the blue in the Old City has drained away, replaced with prosaic yellows and pinks, or the fashionably restrained grey of unfinished stone. If you climb the winding lane up the hill to the Mehrangarh Fort, however, and look out over its monumental walls, the flat-roofed houses of the Old City still tumble like cornflowers amid rust and umber hills. No one knows why so many residents in Jodhpur took to painting their houses this particular shade. No one knows if they can be persuaded to do so again. But from here at least, with much of the concrete swell hidden from view, the moniker of Blue City is still well deserved.