I don’t what I was looking for in Varanasi or why we were even there, really. It’s not as if I hadn’t heard bad stories about the Holy City of India before arriving. One friend advised me to just skip that money grubbing dive and head straight for the Buddhist caves of Ajunta. He assured me that I would find more spirituality in a pebble there than I would in the whole of Varanasi.
Still, this was India’s Mecca, and I wanted to go. As for all the bad stories about the city, well, mostly they were right. I must admit (though ill will towards its good denizens may be perhaps unavoidable) that Varanasi was hands down the most unpleasant experience I had on the subcontinent.
Except for one beautiful, glorious dawn when my wife I finally managed, (after making our way through alleyways of aggressive packs of stray dogs) to procure a boat for the river tour. I was even able to knock down the price a bit.
The scene from the river was indescribable. Mist rose from the river, half-naked pilgrims in the distance washed and worshiped in the Holy Ganges, and the ancient temples and palaces on the banks bespoke of the endless toils of labor and fleeting pleasures of life through the fog of time. There was not a machine or modern contraption in sight and their absence was not even noticed though; it seemed as though the modern was extinct and would never be invented.
Slowly, peacefully, a human body bobbed in the current some meters away. It was not a sad sight, though it was profound in meaning. That is a child. the guide said, They are not cremated because they have not sinned.
I’m sure I sinned much in Varanasi. I was prideful, willful, and angry at everything. Even Gandhi got angry in Varanasi. But I have that moment and I’ll never forget it.
This article was written by Dinah Jackson who enjoys writing about food, travel and Pokemon. For the largest source of Pokemon rare Japanese promos directly from Japan, check out this store. Pokemon plush toys, pokedolls, deck boxes, sleeves, charms, figures and thousands more very rare Japanese Pokemon items.