City of Saints and Sinners - Varanasi - a melting pot

Photo of City of Saints and Sinners - Varanasi - a melting pot 1/3 by The Barefoot Wanderer - Nupur Kohli
Photo of City of Saints and Sinners - Varanasi - a melting pot 2/3 by The Barefoot Wanderer - Nupur Kohli
Photo of City of Saints and Sinners - Varanasi - a melting pot 3/3 by The Barefoot Wanderer - Nupur Kohli

Kashi a melting pot for perhaps many a years – the oldest inhabited city in the world where many a Scholars..Philosophers..Saints and Sinner discuss – debate religion and the many aspects of life .

There is a symbol of Hindu unity and faith in God that each one off them carry in their hearts .

For me – as I began my journey at the Ghats of Kashi I was oblivious to what I was headed for ..all I knew that the City and the Ghats were ruled by Sinners – Men – Women who would come to the banks of the Holy Ganga in pursuit of washing off their Sins .. Cleansing of their mind – Body and soul in pursuit of getting ‘’ Pure’’ And on the other side of life awaited the Sadhu or Saints . They have their own religion which binds them together – The Naga Sadhu’s following an austere way off life , the Sadhu”s who have taken Sanyas just to get away from the Mundane life and the Saints the Pandits and the Brahims who rule the temples for no reason but for begin born a Pandit Brahmin

..As I walked further down the long and winding lanes above the Ghats I am stuck by the sheer energy that engulfs me …..i see kids playing Galli Cricket ..Notwithstanding that fact that the lanes are 3 feet apart..a long runaway over broken stone and Cricket it is ..I duck for the fear of being hit but the men playing are pro and sure know their shots ..Armoured with my SLR I move ahead and a see a Sea of colours - Shoppers Paradise it is ! Clothes , Music , Café’s and the ever beautiful little shops selling the finest of what I love the most – ‘’ Faith is how people Prayer ‘’ – Bells , Colourful Vermilion – Deepest of Red , Green ..Yellow, The Rudraksh Ki mala in all its glory with 108 beads ..i was pretty much ecstatic for some reason unknown to me …and my SLR was on a Journey off it own ..And in the midst off all the chaos I tumble upon ‘’Music ‘’ . Did I hear it right – Sound off a distant Drum . Hand in hand with my friend we quickly take a flight of stairs that is directing us towards the Music . With hearts beating fast – (as we almost ran )we find ourselves in a Music Gehrana – peeping through the slightly broken widow we see a White Woman learning Kathak …and a Korean woman learning how to play the flute . We knew this is where we belong, at least for the next few hours. The man behind the Music Geharana greets us with a smile that says ‘’you are at the right place Buddy ‘’ and we are friends. My eyes move around searching and yes there it was the - Djembe ! We spend time watching, learning, playing, jamming the streets of Kashi where life will surprise u at each turn ..

In my Pursuit to do things differently.. feel differently I was away from my comfort Zone . But I am here. Here to feel the pulse off the city ..feel the heat of the city…moving on I was not too sure whether I would be crushed or trampled by Humans or the cows or the Dogs or the Scooters in the 3 feet lane . The Co-existing of human life with the animal life was intriguing. No fear – Only deep love for each other . Maybe we need to learn from them ..its about Giving . Giving ‘’Way to life’’ beyond Humans .They aren’t no Sinners in the city . I now believe .

With that learning I start descending to the Ghats of the ‘’ Saints ‘’ the Naga Sadhu’s – The very intimidating men – stack naked with eyes that tell a million stories..i walked a little awkward ..yes yet again away from my comfort zone ..but what the heck I am here to ‘’ Live and Feel Differently ‘’ I move on in pursuit to make a friend in a Naga Sadhu ..

As I leave the city I know one thing for sure ‘’They are no rules of life ‘’ you make your own rules – At the Ghats of Benares I did just that ..

You can reach Varanasi by road / train or by air . It is well connected from Delhi and other cities. If you want to experience varanasi ..and feel the pulse of the city - stay away from 3 star or 5 star hotels . Do the homestays or the rustic guest houses on the banks of the Holy Ganga . Catch the morning sunrise ...soak in the early morning Arti and walk the ghats with the saints and sinners