Circus of Life, On The Road, The Walk
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Walking in Varanasi

All say i have gone on my mother, slanting slope with a dead end like nose, high cheekbones, eyes watching from a socket, paler complexion. Today when i lied beside her listening, i saw a few lines sketched around her lips, tight forehead, intense she looked, and looked old. I leave for Kashmir the day after for a month and wanted to post this write-up which i wrote six months ago on the ghats of Benaras. I am drunk tonight.

Holi city, indeed

Crowded by boredom
Of new and the old

Japanese is written on the walls,
Telugu, Gujrati, Hindi, Marwari
and deity of the falling doll,

Walls are tall as lanes are narrow
concluding steps
Going towards the flow
Ganga looks like one today
The sun is shining on the polluted dark
A bark flows with the river,
with a free body,
swelled liked a shapeless balloon
Him, crows are murdering more.
But the noon is calmer here,
they say, river trudges up from there

background chantings and prayers from sound systems
Steps are wet
Far, wrestlers sit in a symmetry, having roxy.
I saw young pundits mildly head banging seen from drone
some on an item-number
we all have one phone
A game of ludo at its best
Like a test
Last ball six
Googly in cricket
like life in general, said Swaroop

Variety of Professions are in bloom, life seems easy here,
in no hurry.
A hefty young man upside down on the sand banks,
far, on the other side of the river, an aghora.
Varanasi seems to be involving evolving
people are equipped with technology
There is growth on the faces of Brahmins

We loitered
Passed many Ghats
Watched many, they staring into,
with just one eye open,
making imagery
Gazing at the rays which twinkled
As we made some angles
Listening to different sounds
And slopping at many a stairs
More seclusion at night
With each shadows fading in yellow and emerging new from the lampposts
Lots of boats, almost alike
A distant bell or two, many Ringing
And life shifting at the back

Men, just them
Smell in the air
Yellow, deadly, conveying unknown, un-interpreted, uninterested
Left, light, fire
More ones burning,
Men still standing,
Some gazing
Tear-eyed,
Unaware, un touched
Some afraid, naïve
Some fearing,
Some transforming
Some silent, some quiet
Ashes on my hand
On my pen, in front
The heavy air, settling here and there
Tonnes of wood
My heart is watching,
I am numb
I see where the flames stop,
who says air can’t be seen,
waving, blurring
Seven working on bodies
Eighth is getting ready

Some seem unaware of their fate. Doing what they have to, even what new can they do? But is it also true that they don’t fear death anymore or have they fallen to numbness like I have. Unaware of now, I see for the first time as they burn, from a height, where I could see all, everyone like a bird. A lot more wood, a lot more bodies, and stillness in liveliness. I think about the documentary ‘children of pyre’ which i have not seen but heard. I see much yellow than any other color on faces, on whites. Sky is growing blue. Its evening. Dark of the shadows is seen on the high walls behind Dashashwamaedha. Houses, walls have darkened from the flames. So many pyres have burnt over the years and decades. Unaccounted trees. I see a lady combing her wet hair, over the flames on the third floor, on second two men have tea. They are not too far, but I can see their smiling lips. And as the woman above overlooks the burning pyres acknowledging Ganga. I imagine, who resides in those houses ?

Written on 24.02.2011

 

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