Varanasi ……….

This is Varanasi, an ancient city on the bank of the Ganges.

A holy place for Hindus where they come for holy bath and for the darshan of Vishwanath.

Many sadhus– run of the mill ones as well as out of the ordinary ones.

Beggars and bullies.

Good for nothing jerks as well as backbreaking labourers on the street and public places.

Ascetic people as well as hedonistic ones.

Many gallis. Many cows and bulls– sometimes making love– at the narrow gallies blocking the free movement of people.

This is Varanasi, a tourist spot which has been a safehaven for drug peddlers, brokers and commission-jerks.

Many crimes every day. Many are killed a day. Many are looted of their possessions even in the day light.

There Hindus and there are Muslims as well. Some are modern and most are conservative.

You can see Hindus going to the Ganges for the holy bath, and to the temple for the worship. You can see Muslims going to the Mosques and in the Madarasas. You can see pundit jees with holy thread and shikha. You can see Mullahs with their unique long beard.

One thing that makes me ponder about is the contrasting colour of the attire of the Muslim men and women.

Men on white cotton kurta that is good for the summer. On the other hand, black burka for the women!

Many times I have seen Muslim couples at restaurant, lassi-shops, and rickshaws. Husbands enjoying all the joys of the world and the wives behind the purdha. The purdha system still prevails in that community!

But it is like mess regarding the management. Actually there isn't any management of the city.

Traffic is unsystematic. Streets and alleys are dirty as hell.

Power is cut off for more than 16 hours a day. …

Over all, it is an ordinary Indian city that has been touched by modernity. It's conservative but it's trying to be modern…

Last time when I had come here in 1998, there were only old ambassador cars on the road. But now there are new brands, many….

It was a chance event, if you saw any Indian girl here on jeans and top. But you may come across many hot bebes now!

It's on the verge of development, but there is no proper vision and leadership……………..


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