Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Burning Pyre of Life.

Manikarnika Ghat.
If anyone has ever been to Manikarnika Ghat, which is where the Hindus burn the dead, with the very elaborate rituals to attain the Moksha, Nirvana and freedom from rebirths. As per the claims, the fire at pyre has never died out since the ancient times. So, life at the ghat where dead are burnt has never been still. So the ghat for the dead has never been devoid of life. Life and death and death and life! Are they not the constant companions? Banaras is the place to watch it, feel it, to die and get revived a thousand times. While you stand at the ghat and look at the fire , you feel the void in you, which is as empty as the hands of the dead man, lying in front of you. You realize in those moments that abundance of life is not in the riches in life , but the richness in life. If you stay there for sometime, odds are in the favor of one becoming the lover of truth, a philosopher. But the empty hands of a dead man reflects the emptiness in us and we feel scared and run away to a bustling lane or to watch the children jumping into the river.
Banaras beckons many to die and at the same time travelers flock from all over the world to see the life. Is there a city in the world where people gather to die and experience life, though both are the same things. Death merges into life and vice a versa.
Oh Banaras...!!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Can We Share???

There are innovators in this world who seriously think in the power of one and the power of many , which essentially is the same. The Ideal Bite guys are one of them. They advocate very simple changes in our lifestyle, which will do so much good to our world. There is this small shoe company named Simple Shoes which believes in manufacturing shoes which are comfortable when you wear and pleasantly affordable. They are based in California, and they go all out to manufacture shoes with eco friendly materials and processes.Infact our hand -made paper industry is also one such example.
Since I have this Banaras centric blog, where a majority of the population consist of economically backward people, I would recommend that we go and observe these people who exist on the fringes of the society. They are beavers , scavengers, rickshawpullers, professional blood donors, mobile fruit and vegetable sellers, milkmen(who bring the cattle to your doorstep to assure you the purity) and the innumerable invisible uncared for , but very important indispensable people.
The empty bottles from Maggi Ketchup caress the money plants , which might be the only substantial thing to be referred as money in their lives. Used clothing are sewn into various mats, curtains and the table cloths, which is like a phoenix rising from the ashes. They are the most creative bunch of people I have ever seen. May be the destiny or the fate has its hand in them living the way they live, but it would be much better if we could exchange a bit of our abundant stuff with theirs. But, we have to carry all that to the next birth. So we will hang on to that. It is ironical that so many people go to Manikarnika Ghat , which is where the dead are burnt as per the Hindu rituals, while they carry their SLRs and and the Digital Archival Device(Camera dears), and return back to participate more vigorously in the exploits of the consumeristic mirage.
I seriously hope that we learn something, myself included.
I dedicate this post to Anvita, who has inspired me to resume blogging again. I read her blogs very often and she is active in more than one blog. I like her stuff. Thanks Anvita.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Here I sit
Came to shit
But only farted

The above nugget is from Amit Varma, the blogger, who really writes.
I was starting to start, rather restart my blog and start it with the theme of fun from banaras.It is this image of banaras, kashi, varanasi that it is a very religious city, and the city with a ghat where the burning pyre has never died out, where people come to die and the widows are left uncared and neglected, where the riots take place , which is the centre of crime of eastern uttar pradesh.However, the above-said thing is true to some extent, and we must certainly do something to end and change some of it.But, there is another facet of banaras, which is largely unknown to people.The carefree banaras, the masti banaras, the bindas banaras, the funny banaras is hidden and vivid as well, just that, it needs some patience, to be intoxicated with the life of banaras.
The other day, a friend of mine named SS , who also lives in delhi, and runs a successful business, had come from banaras to earn a living, and had started as a salesboy, was commenting about the spiraling crime rate in banaras.SS said, "now when I have earned enough, I shall buy a car, and take it to banaras and move around and get kidnapped within three days of arriving there". Just when I was thinking that he would visit the people who might have doubted his entrepreneurial skills, and prove to them that he has done what he had wanted, he took to opposite direction , and mentioned the kidnapping , interlacing it with his success, and the hidden humor that is what I call a true Banarasi.
Similarly the the above post via Amit Varma, reminded me about the subtlety of Banaras.