Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Intense.Overwhelming.Peaceful and everything else that has been said
about Benares before but i beg you - Do not listen to Lonely Planet
whose pick of all budget hotels was Shanti Guest House which is
inaccessable by any relatively modern means of transport such as the
cycle rickshaw.My paapa foot had to be dragged through narrow streets
jammed by cows , piligrims and the journey to the damn guest house
took half an hour. Only to meet lots of other white people who
suffered in similar ways.

Anyway,we took the boat ride across all the ghats yesterday which was
really beautiful.Marie thinksVAranasi is somewhere between a morbid Venice and Las Vegas!

We stopped and watched the evening prayer from what
our charming boatman Sanjay assured us was a VIP position. The Aarti
was a stunning aesthetic display with dressed up Bramhin priests
singing in vibrant voices silencing the thronging crowds around. There
was a sense of surrender.

Sometimes I long to belong to some religion. I made a wish and placed
my parcel of flowers and a diya to float away in the black of the
Ganga which is now so polluted that apparently even the dolphins are

I followed my diya till it was out of my sight and still burning bright.


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