You guys might be wondering where I’m these days and what I’m doing. Well, I’m still at Varanasi. This place has been able to keep me here for several days. And for many reasons.
Varanasi, especially the Ghats around the Ganges, is a place for eccentric people like me. Even culturally you don’t feel an outsider here. In fact, I was a bit surprized to meet two Jyapu teachers from Bhaktapur Bode in the Nepali Dharmashala during my first visit. And the place is also filled with tourists from all over the world. Hence, the place is generally tolerant of unknown people. In fact, it’s a multi-cultural world.
You can swim in the Ganges whole day long and free of cost. 😆 The Ganges here is quiet and wide, and it remind you of Sholokhov’s ‘Quiet Flows the Don’. And I’m amused when I hear boatmen shouting: Par Jaaoge?(Wanna go the Other side?). Do they really understand what they’re saying?
I’m always around the Ghats, that too nearby Dashaswamedh Ghat. In the morning I sit on a cool berendah of a closed shop. Since it’s hot in the afternoon, I find a shaded place a sit there. Surfing the net is also easier here. Foods are also comparatively cheaper. And most importantly, you can sleep on the Ghats free of cost.
Although I don’t speak with anyone, I think people have begun recognising me. Even the security people are aware of me. A security personnel checked my hand bag the day before yesterday. And yesterday, another security personnel in plain clothes and with a sniffer dog checked my backpack. But they were very decent with me. I guess security people also know that I’m in India as a special guest of President Mukherjee and PM Singh. 😆 They just wanna make it sure that I don’t take a ‘wrong’ way. And I see them working really hard for my safety. Good job, guys! 😉
Yesteday, I ate a free meal for the first time. I was roaming around looking for some cheap place to eat, and saw that ‘free meal’ or ‘Prasad’ was being distributed in front of the Biswonath Temple. Later I came to know that since it’s a Prasad, everyone takes it. And although I don’t participate in the rituals, I also enjoy eating Prasad. 😆
I’m trying to keep my cost of living to a minimum. I eat basic foods like Idli, Puri, etc to save money. And I’ve started to drink plain tap water. In this way I can go on for a long time, even without begging. 😆
And I’ve become even more introvert. Looks like I’m still ‘angry’ with some people from my past for their ‘unfair’ treatment, although I don’t get emotional. I avoid speaking as far as possible. I just wish people didn’t talk to me out of their curiosity. Coz speaking interferes with my observation. I’m thinking of hanging a placard on my neck with the message: Silence Please’.
In short, I’m happier and even more peaceful.