I woke up in Varanasi, the next morning. The vibes were extremely surreal. I took a cab to the hostel where I had booked my stay, got freshen up in no time and directly headed to Dashashwamedha ghat and what I saw is difficult to describe in words. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the ghats but if you sit at a place and stare all around, you can find peace and serenity in the commotion. I sat there, saw the boat drivers and pigeons accomplish their daily errands and tried finding the answers to the questions that I carried all along.
There was 5 solo traveller who accompanied us for the city tour. One of them was from Taiwan and he was 38, the second one was a brave young girl from New Zealand who was solo travelling at an age of just 19. The third was a teacher from Bangalore who recently came back from a Spiti trip. The fourth was a management professional from Mumbai. The last one was from the Netherlands who was a swimming instructor in Dubai. You might think why I am describing all of them but the point is when you explore a place along with strangers with such diverse profession, you get to hear a lot of experiences and ultimately you learn a lot of life lessons.
We went to Mukti Bhawan and it was such a divine place. People during their last phase of life come here just to take their last breaths in this holy land of Varanasi because it is believed that you get Moksha if you die here. Then we made our way to Manikarnika ghat and found a place to sit and observe things. I asked a local and he said that at every 15 minutes of interval, a body is cremated in Varanasi and this made me go numb for a while. Undoubtedly, the questions about life and death that I used to ponder has now found some answers.
It was almost evening by then and we were all set to take a boat ride to Assi ghat and experience one of the most beautiful sunsets of our lives. As the sun went down ending its daily errand, the Ganges shone like gold and our eyes twinkled at such a tranquil view. It was now time for the ganga aarti and what I witnessed is difficult to express. The aarti had such energy that every individual was high on spirituality. After seeing this, I thought maybe this is why the river Ganga is called "holy". After this, we went back to our hostel and we all were wearing a smile.