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LedzzGo World _______________________________________________________ this fabulous shadow only the sea keeps

Older than time itself

INDIA | Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | Views [208] | Comments [2] | Scholarship Entry

Pups dangle from mangy teats. She, "mother of all dogs", exhausted. Her hungry eyes seem to be saying, "why me?" An open sewer reeks lavishly toward the river, while low dense dawn tears a solar bridge across the Ganges, leading to what seems afterlife itself. Varanasi, mon amour.

"Let's go" - my friend implores. He reckons his ancestors were local gypsy. Sure.

Our last day, alas. Below, vigilant kids stare up unabashed, separated from us by a forbidden stairway leading to the "Alka Hotel". Day one I slid 'em fifty rupees, each. Now, they tag us methodically, unkempt yet nourished. Their wily charm confounds me.

A monkey, perched on the rail of Alka's balcony scares of my brash approach, undulating heavenward cursing, just as the cook emerges on a ledge wearing only a towel.

"Where's our breakfast" we all cry, while laughing.

Slender vessels, bursting with pilgrims, head out into murky mystery, monotonous chant whispers over water. My friend is braving massage from a pro, not far from the local Ghat's entrance.

"This is my father", he says of my friend.

Another masseur latches on to me, smiling somewhat nervously. Meanwhile, the kids head our way in formation.

Enter the ubiquitous chai-man, waving his pompous iron kettle, hot coal tray affixed. Drags a few rupees out of us. His cups are frail and made of clay. Disposable, they fly. They have come so far, it is over.

A teenager is negotiating rocky surface often teaming with cricket youth now remarkably absent. The trash he gathers so impeccably with his simple broom is swept unceremoniously into the river and out of sight, yards from my friend, now having his forehead adorned by a wise man, who just happens to pass by.

Neath colorful laundry an orange-clad Sadhu grooms himself meticulously, rolls out tired blankets and wraps himself into sleep - obviously a night creature. No one cares, they're used to this sort of thing.

My friend is smoking with the one-eyed rickshaw man who had stalked us extensively, before moving in for kill disguised as service. I forget myself, that I am here - and even why I am here, as a boat, fat with souls, seems to struggle ominously mid-river, oars flapping like helpless fins. Sadhu eyes approach beeline, so I dig into my beggar pocket and he lands ten. A holy man, he has to make do with less than your mainstream beggar.

Further, I lose the next note to a charmer, grinding an infernal instrument, while his bendy sidekick slithers too close for comfort, hissing.....

Tags: 2015 Writing Scholarship

Comments

1

Enjoyed your colourful descriptions. They took me straight back to India - thank you!

  thebluegnu May 29, 2015 3:13 AM

2

You are so very welcome blueGnu

  Ledzz Go World May 29, 2015 3:22 AM

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