Choo Choo. Scuttle, scrap, bang, crash, wallop. Thud. PWB India arrives in Varanasi- Holiest to all Hindus. Contrasting to Kolkata.
Winding streets, alleyways, dusty nooks and crusty corners.
Oldest of inhabited cities; names from Kashi – the ‘City of Life’, Banares to Varanasi they all ripple off the tongue.
The rituals of death played within the ebbs and flows of life. Cows lazily grazing alongside riverbeds, buffalos plodding into muddy puddles.
The city of the Ganges, washing on and off the grime of life, candles and ashes floating among the ripples.
Children scuttle amongst the tinkling wake of bicycles, unicycles- here comes the circus! The molten sun goes down, celebrated by singing and fire.
The weary-lidded joy-makers return to the serenity and comfort of home cooking, only ever a door away from the medleys- “woof woof”, “ommmm”, “beep beep”, “moooooo”, “hari hari Krishna”!
By Abi Cooper