I have fallen in love with the holy city of Varanasi. It’s chaotic little labyrinth streets and the crazy crowds and the strange people. Everywhere i look, there is something to see. Every corner i find is full of color, every time i go out i don’t know what i will see and experience. It’s a place where people come to die because dying in Varanasi brings salvation. It’s a city with estimated 23000 temples. It’s a place where philosophers, poets, writers and musicians lived.
I sit inside shops filled with handmade notebooks and watch the shopkeepers pray and sing mantras.
I sit by the ganga, watching people wash their clothes, pray and dip in.
I watch men dressed in orange carry ganga water to temples in big crowds, i hear them sing on the streets.
I get escorted by excited twelve-year-old schoolboys.
I get followed by men who whisper to me time after time: “madam, please buy some fresh weed. Madam, i have opium. Madam! Opium! Ketamine! Marijuana??” and get saved by shopkeepers who say: “do not disturb this madam, this madam is very shanti.”
I sit on the rooftops at night and watch people on the other rooftops – they dance, chat, put up their clothes to dry, eat and wave at me.
I sit near temples and spy inside, watch people lighting candles and listen to them chanting.
I sit in cafes drinking sweet black coffee and watch the spectrum of different people walk by.
I see old people in wheelchairs on their way to wait for their death.
I see people carrying bodies in the streets, covered in orange and flowers.
I visited an ashram and had tea and cookies with a big guru dressed in a bright yellow robe.
I have taken yoga classes that make me smile like crazy afterwards while i walk back to my hostel.
I love the chaos. I love how everywhere i look, there is something. So many colors, so many little details. So much intensity in one place. This is a place that’s very hard to put to words. When i sit down somewhere and observe, i try to write it down, but i can’t. To describe the colors, the people, the buildings, the crowds.
For me personally, traveling is very tiring. I mean the kind of traveling where you stay couple of nights at one place, see it, the sights and all, and then move on. I like to stay for longer. I don’t like to pack and carry my backpack. I am a really bad backpacker. A lazy one. But i love the way i travel – that’s why also i decided to stay and enjoy Varanasi until it’s time to go back to Delhi. I tried and tried to make a plan for myself to see at least one more place in India. But what can i do? Varanasi got me with it’s intense energy, amazing yoga classes and endless life that keeps on going everywhere.