Passages from India #6: Varanasi

Varanasi, to me, is a microcosm of India. All that is India is concentrated in one form or another into this melting pot of humanity which befuddles and bemuddles in its strive to find answers to the eternal questions, not least bathing in and drinking from the sacred and critically polluted Ganga Ma.
Nonetheless, for all that is unfathomable, Varanasi is intoxicating viewing. The vertiginous facade that lines the ghats along west bank of the ganges, gazes unmirrored out across a sandy floodplain and up to a distant tree-belt, uninhabited by any living body. But, it is only looking back ghats-ward that you see life play at death; to die in Varanasi is to achieve instant moksha, release from the never-ending cycle of life-death-rebirth and life. People are simply dying to get out of living. And considering the levels of coliform measured in their Mother Ganges, no wonder they give thanks daily to her, for no doubt helping them on their way.
VIDEO: Varanasi Aarti Ganga.

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Other posts in this series: Passages from India.

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About JFDerry

Writer. Darwin, science & more. 4 books: Piospheres, Darwin in Scotland, Serial Killers. Current project is THE DISSENT OF MAN. Born near London, raised near Primrose Hill and in Lincolnshire, and studied at the Universities of Bangor, York and Edinburgh for degrees in Biochemistry, Bioelectronics and Biological Computation, and a PhD in African Ecology. Mainly working in British and African universities, but also in Spain, Brussels, Mongolia and Australia, to date, publication history is mostly in academic journals, on aspects of computational biology, pastoralism and on Charles Darwin and evolution. However, also written for several national newspapers, various governments, several major record labels and independent book publishers. Fiction has appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and poetry is at the Human Genre Project. Lives in Edinburgh, with partner and their two daughters.
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4 Responses to Passages from India #6: Varanasi

  1. Martyn says:

    Strangely hypnotic…

  2. Books says:

    incredible india and incredible varanasi…

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