You could walk down the street naked in Jaipur and no one would bat an eye. Neon-coloured motor rickshaws, children playing cricket on traffic islands and even painted elephants from the Amer Fort are all part of a daily circus that passes for traffic in Rajasthan's pink city.
Only tourists stop to gawp. That is, unless someone spots a camera.
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This I learned over two weeks working on a film set in India, which is quite unlike a movie set anywhere else.
Spending the days driving through Jaipur city in a motor convoy, following a prop car covered in cameras, we attracted quite an audience.
No sooner had we had parked up to change lenses, we had gained a spectator. He was joined by a neighbour, then the people next door, and some kids who wanted to know what the fuss was about. Soon we had an entire roadside suburb come to watch the show.
On film sets elsewhere I have experienced the odd interested question from a passerby, but in most cities camera crews are treated as a nuisance. Taking a camera out on to the streets, you'll be as welcome as a feral pigeon. In Edinburgh people begin looking over their shoulder to check for candid cameras, in Prague they will cross the street to avoid you.
But India is a special case. It's a nation of 1.3 billion cinephiles. No one passes up the chance to watch a film, let alone see one being made.
Film sets are a chance to spot the gods of the silver screen; better yet, it might be a chance to be spotted. Bollywood and the Bollywood press is obsessed with the "rags to riches" story. Stars are often celebrated for their humble origins as dishwashers and waitresses, which is as much a part of the role as whatever drama they are acting in. The ability to elevate one's lot in life by pulling on the proverbial bootstraps is celebrated in Indian cinema to an extent to make Hollywood look like a bunch of moochers.
It's a message which would be laudable if – off screen – it wasn't so clearly a lie. It's no secret that nepotism is as rife in India as any other film industry. As actor Karan Johar said onstage at the IIFA awards: "I'd like to thank my papa for my place in this industry." For which he was chided by his fellow comedians with chants of "nepotism rocks!" A second-generation Bollywood actor playing a jhuggi dweller sits fairly uneasily to an outsider.
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It's as brazen, contradictory and confronting as the Rajasthani traffic.
Our particular film was about a disgraced academic whose life was derailed by drink, and his attempt to get back on track working as a cab driver. Driving a run-down Hindustan Ambassador Mark III with a for-hire sign on top, our taxi driver would blend in perfectly if it weren't for camera crew hanging out his window.
Weaving between camels, pedestrians and oncoming cars – each time we rounded a corner I half expected to see a pile up of clashing colours and camera parts.
The members of the Scottish production company I'd travelled with were growing paler by the second. Meanwhile our counterparts who had come from Bangalore never broke a sweat.
India produces almost twice as many films per year as China, three times as many as Hollywood. With a work ethic like that, you can't afford to be too precious.
It also helps when your state is as effortlessly cinematic as Rajasthan. You couldn't help but feel there were twice as many stories happening outside the frame of our cameras. Or even in the traffic backing up past the hotel doorstep, as it momentarily slowed to round the old banyan tree that had gradually taken over one of the two lanes.
It's a landscape that has appeared on cinema screens around the world. The fortified hills had been backdrops for both James Bond and Indiana Jones, and I'm pretty sure the hotel we were working from was at least the "Third Best Exotic Marigold Hotel".
One person who knew this better than was our unit director Kuldip, having worked on all of them.
So now finding ourselves parked up and surrounded by an audience of 50 interested extras he was the man who had the fix to get us moving again.
Lost in a pile of highlighter pens and lined scripts, I hadn't noticed quite where we had stopped. Neither had I seen where the people had come from. They were not in keeping with my continuity notes.
But as soon as it appeared, the crowd was gone, with little more than a shrug of the shoulders.
Impressed, I asked Kuldip: "What did you tell them?"
"I said we're filming a documentary."
With that, we sped off and were soon just another part of the chaotic traffic.