Sunday, 8 April 2007

Week 9 (I think) - Bye India - Varanasi

Varanasi

What to say. I lay on my bed after the first day exhausted, thinking "what the f*ck!". The people here are intense, really spoilt my karma, there were good bits but I could only take one day of harassment before leaving early for Nepal.

Watching the morning pilgrims was excellent, but I fealt I was intruding on something very important to them, there were a mass of tourist boats watching the Indian pilgrims wash away their sins in the River Ganges.



I get dropped off at the Burning Ghat and get greeted by a guide, he takes me into the thick of a cremation ceremony, I don't look at anything, just the guide, I feel like I should not be here, a family is carrying a body to a fresh pale of wood, the guide says "look, a burning foot". No woman are allowed at the Ghat as if there is any crying then this will effect the spirit achieving nirvana. The guide also rips me off, this is the first time in my ten week stay. He is a nice chap and takes me upstairs to a building by the Ghat to see some old folk, he tells me that they stay here until they die and cannot afford to pay for their cremation, so he asks for a donation, I am emotional from seeing the cremations and even though I question it in my head I decide to give him the benefit of the doubt. I find out later that this man has been doing this for ages and bribes the police. Pretty low. I walk past him later and he comes after me asking to talk, I call him a "lier" and he says "that is what he wanted to talk to me about", I repeat "liar", he eventualy goes away. Later a holy man trys to con me, really persistent in me going with him. I hate Varanasi and I hate India at this point.



A pilgrim (alive)

The best bit of the whole town was using the crazy cycle rickshaw drivers, I had one old dude who had a red stained smile from all the chewing tobacco, I instantly like this comical fella. The old fella nearly takes out a cyclist who veers into our path, the rickshaw driver abuses him while laughing for extra effect, I join in with the laughter at the cyclist, the cyclist gets pretty angry which makes us laugh more. All the way home the driver sings and cackles as he cycles, he turns around occasionally to speak to be in Hindi, I only mutter "acha". My favourite person in India in my least favorite place in India.



Goodbye India
India has been fun, messed up, tiring, spiritual, enlightening, annoying, beautiful, ugly. It has had the most friendly people I have ever met but also some of the worst people I have ever met. India is contradictory but I have loved all places even Varanasi in parts. India has had a really good effect on me, especially the people, culture and religions.

2 comments:

woodster said...

hey mate i lost ya
drop me an email so we can meet up wherever you are in nepal
cheers mate
paulwood900@gmail.com
i got no idea what your email is
paul

Snake said...

Sounds like those Indian con-men have been on a Snake Management training course.