Travel leaves you speechless and then turns you into a storyteller
Varanasi has had the same effect on me, you can keep on unfolding layers of this city and it will still have more treasures for you to explore.
On our very first day, Sitting in Bajra and listening to the melodious voice of Ms. Sriparna sing out classical and folk songs while the Ganga rocked us as if we were sitting in it’s cradle and the chilly air of Varanasi making us shiver as if almost telling us that it’s a city of holiness and religion and heritage but that doesn’t mean it’s a soft one. It’s chaotic and dirty and bustling and you are left baffled thinking “where is peace?” “how do people attain nirvana here?”
The city gave it’s answer in the Ganga Aarti, there were worshippers and saints, praying to the holy river for life and happiness and celebrating life and all the good and bad times it brings, and you just turn your head to the other way and you see chitas burning, people weeping, human going back to it’s crudest form.. ashes.The eternal birth and death cycle, people offering flowers and ashes to the same river, both for exact opposite reasons. How it takes all the prayers for a long lasting happy lives along with tears and the last remains of a life.. all into itself. You realize all the struggles of life and the ultimate end of everyone.
A concept so complex and vast, yet witnessed in one moment, and you understand the magic of Ganga. And the realization doesn’t hit you like a tornado, it comes softly and sits on your shoulder, and waits for you to accept it, gently, patiently, till you take it all in and learn the truth of life.. to find peace within yourself you don’t need the city to be silent and gentle, it’s violent and shakes you till the core and as you were confused, slowly drops the peace into your lap and once you are done searching for the peace and answers in the city, you find them within yourself. This is a city which jolts you from your comfort zone and then makes you its own. While boarding the returning train I had a faint smile on my face and a part of Varanasi in me.
– Shreejita Shrivastava
Student at NIIT UNIVERSITY