Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Varanasi diary: A saint and a friend

Ghats do become lonely at times

Well Kaleidoscope is not going to give a five ten or fifteen pointer about Jogi who has just climbed up chair and is expected to saffronise the country. While there was no Jogi on the show, Jogi was there declaring how to rape, whom to rape, what to wear, where to install what and also trying to rewrite and make new history. A lot of others would continue to write on Jogi! Here Kaleidoscope will write something about a different sort of jean clad jogi at Varanasi. This gentleman roams around the ghats of Varanasi, belongs to an extremely renowned family which owns the worship rights to more than ninety nine percent of the temples there. Yes, Kaleidoscope met him on the Daswasamedh ghat when he was trying to take a few photos of the Sannyashis in the ghat. Let us call this gentleman Shiva.

Kaleidoscope watched Shiva buying a Betel leaf from the same shop which offers good cigarette in the day and marijuana in the night. Shiva was watching kaleidoscope buying cigarette after he finished his work with camera. It was late February and the mid day Sun was quite hot. Shiva asked Kaleido about the heat of the Sun and whether he feared going to Manikarnika ghat - the palce famous for burning bodies. Something clicked between them and they remained friends since then. However two stories Kaleidoscope would like share here about Shiva.

First, Shiva is very fond of alcohol but he needs to go away at least a fifty kilometer to enjoy a drink or two with his friends because he is supposed to be a priest. Shiva, does worship everyday and does it with utmost dedication but also loves to go frenzy with daaru, meat and other things. Once, in their early twenties they went to a restaurant about a ten kilometer from the city and drank. At the time of payment the restaurant owner refused to accept the money, saying "you belong to the holy family, how can I accept money." That was Shiva's biggest embarrassment and he had to run away. However, while saying this Kaleidoscope could clearly understand the challenge and pressure of being saint that his friend is carrying for so many years.

Second, Shiva had a love affair but obviously he had to leave her because of his caste identity. Shiva had to understand this dynamism in his early adulthood and has been repenting being born in that family for ever.

No, not everything has a conclusion and life is unpredictable so does this blog!

PS. If Kaleidosocpe feels like he might write about their joint exploration of the city. Until then do find Human nature inside every flesh and bone or caste and creed, brilliant or stupit. 


  1. This blog is beautiful the way it is.

  2. What a photo. Please do share some more and write on humane varanasi...