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Silence


Silence….
An empty space
A Nude noise
Clock ticking somewhere in the background
A honk here
A drop there

Silence… so peaceful
yet so terrifying!

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Lust


The ocean of thoughts lumbered forward
defiling my memories
taking me back to the ghosts of past
unclean and uncut
 
Before my eyes, a life lost
the peaceful randomness
gone in an instant
leaving behind only scars of lust

Utopia


Thoughts are like an empty boat in a great ocean
drifting aimlessly in the direction the wind blows.
To reach land is like an utopian dream
yet to realize that dream one must get lost first.

Intimacy


While our perfect intimacy
lures me toward your imperfect nature
I transformed into a holy sinner
from an unholy saint
 
Consumed by your vortex
I destroyed me
you destroyed me
while you remained stoic
 
Now there lies my heart
on the ground
spewed out from the vortex
but hardly beating
 
Time hardly matters now
seasons seem blur
I moved on
but traces of intimacy still remain

 

Varanasi, a magnet for all things spiritual, occupies a special place in the hearts’ of millions of Hindus all over the world. Situated on the banks of river Ganga (considered one of the holiest rivers by Hindus), the city is in the midst of an evolution from being one of the oldest cities to a city where the arms of modernization are slowly spreading.   Caught between being a lazy traveler and a reluctant pilgrim I set out on the journey with lot of questions and excitement.

Allahabad:

After spending 26 hours in a train, my journey started with the city of Allahabad. As soon as I got out of the station, I was greeted with a big hoarding of “Kumari” Mayawati (one of India’s powerful and influential politicians). Allahabad is famous for Triveni Sangam. Triveni Sangam is the confluence of three holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati. This place is of mighty importance to all Hindus. According to the mythology a great battle took place between the Gods and Demons for a pitcher of nectar which will bestow immortality. During the great battle, a drop of nectar fell where the Sangam currently is situated. Hence it is believed that a holy dip at the Sangam will not only break the cycle of re-birth, but also wash away all the sins and pave the way for heaven. For the same reason the ashes of dead people are immersed in the Triveni Sangam. So I took a boat ride to the place where the three rivers meet for a holy dip hoping to wash away all my sins. I was immediately taken aback at the extent of pollution. These rivers apart from being holy, also serve as dumping grounds for almost everything and anything which is a paradox. The most common answer I get when I ask the locals of this paradox is that they depend on these rivers for everything. Literally everything! Nevertheless with great trepidation, I took a dip in the cold and frigid water. And surprisingly, I felt a strange and inexplicable peace wash over me.  

Triveni Sangam is also famous for the Kumbh and Maha Kumbh Mela. These Melas which takes place on the banks of the Sangam occurs every 12 and 144 years respectively. It’s the largest gathering of Hindus on a single day and has a special significance for Hindus. The major events of the festival are a ritual bath at the banks of the river Ganga. Other activities include religious discussions, devotional singing, mass feeding of holy men and women and the poor, and religious assemblies where doctrines are debated and standardized. It is also believed that on this day, Gods come in the form of humans to take a dip at the Sangam during Kumbh Mela. These Melas are often visited by Naga Sadhus (also called as Aghoras).  The Naga Sadhus are considered to be devout followers of Lord Shiva. They are feared and also revered for their extreme lifestyle.

Varanasi:

It is said that every Hindu must visit Varanasi atleast once in their lifetime.  There has always been some kind of spiritual mystery surrounding Varanasi (also called as Kasi and Benaras).  I’ve heard stories of people renouncing everything and traveling to Varanasi to become a Sadhu or to die. I was determined to find out what is that makes this place so special and different from other holy places. This leg of my journey started on a bitter note when I lost my expensive mobile and many pictures that I had already clicked. It is believed that everybody who visits Varanasi is supposed to give up atleast one thing that is dear to them. I had made up my mind not to go by this adage. But unfortunately I lost my mobile and in a strange way I was forced to follow the age old adage. Anyways my first thoughts about the city were that it is like any holy city coping with the flood of pilgrims that visit every day.  The city as such needs a lot of development in terms of basic sanity. The roads are narrow and filled with overflowing traffic with absolutely no sense of direction.  And to add to the many forms of pollution is noise pollution. I am surprised that I haven’t gone deaf with the constant, irritating and unnecessary honking. Apart from the many temples, I absolutely loved the ubiquitous tuk tuks (3 wheeled cycles propelled by human power and used as means of transportation).  Travelling in them you almost feel like a Maharaja traveling on an elephant.

To reach the banks of river Ganga one has to navigate a series of intricate and very narrow lanes which often can become very confusing. However these narrow lanes are a hub of activities. These lanes have houses, temples, hostels, shops selling a wide range of things and also restaurants. It’s like a mini city within and an adventure overall. However the reward at the end is priceless. You are faced with a magnificent view of the river Ganga flowing toward Bay of Bengal in all its might.  The entire hustle and bustle, all that noise is replaced with tranquility and beauty that it leaves you speechless. It’s like time itself stops and you are transported to a different era. During the day you will find people sitting by the river deep in meditation and during the nights, you find people just sitting or walking around enjoying the breeze and tranquility. The main attractions of Varanasi apart from the holy river of Ganga are the temple of “Lord Shiva” and Ganga Aarti (prayer offered to river Ganga) which takes every evening on the banks of the river.  The entire spectacle is stunning and is a treat to the senses in every way. This scene is best enjoyed from a boat on the river.

What I observed is that Varanasi, over the years has become a money making institution with people trying to take advantage of the faith in order to extract money in any which way possible. Every aspect of the faith and religion is commercialized and turned into a profitable business. With this kind of rampant commercialization, faith itself takes a back seat as you are constantly trying to ward off people trying to take advantage.  Having said this, the city also boasts various institutions of different sects and beliefs like “Ramakrishna Mission” that teach yoga, meditation and free medical services.  Varanasi over the years has attracted people from all walks of life including international tourists. People flock to this place not only for the religious significance but also in search of peace and spiritual enlightenment.  Unless you are an atheist, Varanasi does not fail to leave a mark on you.

 I, on the other hand was not sure what I wanted when I started on this journey. But when I left Varanasi, I left with the images of mighty Ganga, the Ganga Aarti, the tranquility that I experienced sitting on the banks of Ganga, those narrow and congested lanes alive with activity, the tuk tuks.

Now the travel bug has gotten into me. I love the unexpected detours. All the well made plans go for a toss and you end up experiencing something new and wonderful.

I intend to continue this travelling. I intent to satiate this growing wanderlust.

.

Stay Away


Stay away!
 Stay away!
My time ain’t come yet
 I am not ready
to sleep in your
arms of death!

Abyss of Fear


 
Caught between the abyss
of real and surreal
My mind grapples to make
sense of this constant noise.
 
The lark stopped
singing long ago
The high faded
ages ago.
 
 
My fear lurks in
 form of darkness
playing an ugly
hide and seek.
 
Now the end to madness
seems oh so near
yet the journey
has just began.

River of Insanity


—————————————–
It all Started with a thought
and a bottle of vodka
The thoughts multipled
as vodka took control
before I realised
I was floating
down the river of insanity

Last Dance


——————————–
She promised a dance
and a candle light dinner
a date was made
at the edge of the river
 
He came dressed like a King
and imagined her as the queen
with flowers as a gift
and wine to keep them warm
 
 
He sat on the bench
Brimming with hope
Moon looked over him
and stars gave him company
 
Then she came
dressed like a queen
his heart leaped
and thoughts froze
 
She kissed him on the cheeks
and asked how he was
before he could answer
she said she had to go
 
Her prince charming was waiting
Down the river
He just smiled
And gave her the flowers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Obituary


 
I know not your last words
Because they were unsaid.
I know not your last wish
Because it was not wished.
I know not your last thoughts.
Because they were not expressed.
 
 While the rest of us were still dreaming
You silently departed.