|Boat ride in Varanasi|
Last month, I was on a five day trip to my home town Allahabad at the fag end of the Kumbh Mela and Varanasi- the oldest living city in the world- where all the Naga sadhus (sky-clad) had migrated from Allahabad.
My co-traveller is Paavo Yliluoma.
The first two days in Allahabad was relaxing. My sister-in-law, Ranjan Bhabhi, fed us so much with the most fabulous food that it seemed she is preparing two goats for the Eid sacrifice.
|Kumbh Mela, Allahabad.|
The trip to Kumbh Mela was overwhelming. I felt solitude amongst the millions of devotee. They followed rituals blindly to see the light to life. Something good was happening to them. Some thing good was happening to me.
|Paavo, cow and an age old culture.|
The trip to Varanasi was special. Ghats have stood for centuries by the Ganges give me strong sense of stability to the passage of time and equanimity to changing seasons. A static witness to the flowing water of Ganges.
|Marnikarnika Ghat in the evening. |
The boat ride in the evening was pleasant. We witnessed Ganga Aarti from our boat. It was a spectacle grandeur of flickering lights rising to the dark sky.
Nagas, I felt, played their part well. They comfortably wore their nudity but not their self. They too harbour restlessness, though much less in measure than me. It was no big fun to sketch them as they were not challenged.
|the sky clad amongst the clothed.|
There was one other significant experience that I have promised to my co-traveller not to write about.