The novelty of the mind is precious. It is such a beautiful thing to cherish that every tiny bit of world is so different and unique for each mind. That even the very definition of ‘beautiful’ and ‘unique’ is different for all the beings. The way we see the world, imagine or even view a solid existing identity from outside, and then perceive it through our own filters and dictionaries of mind is so wondrously unimaginable.
So, I leave it to your own filter on how you perceive my story about my perception of some place free from its time. A world of its own, a city having its own culture, a culture bearing its own essence. A life-style known for existing through ages, a place known as City of Ghats - a place known as Kashi.
This place can tug at the strings of heart very differently for different people. The perception of this city can go from the spectrum of Life to Death. From Peace to Chaos. From Love to Hatred. And that is what stimulated my mind’s curiosity for about an eternity till Kashi finally called me and made me its own.
Two years have passed since I was drowned for the first and last time in the essence of Kashi. For two years now, this place triggers different emotions in me, possibly fitting every bit of spectrum. Every dawn since then, I rise and wander around till I settle for a Ghat where I wait on the third step of its stairs every day for the Sun to rise among the chants and rings of the sacred Prayer. It’s the hour when more than half of the human population holds on to sleep dearly, lost in dreams and delusional peace unlike some of us who at this very moment of the time cycle, feel more alive than ever. The infant glow of the city which is a magnificent view from the Ghats makes me hungry for an opportunity to see what’s inside the maze of roads, of what's beneath the Boundaries of Ghats. How in that very moment of dawn, I crave to get lost inside that maze, to wander around like a lost soul in it, to run my fingers along the walls that go bending inside the heart of city. The Sun’s arrival always reminds me of my weakest moments which make me beg for another life when I should not. I am not a lost soul like others who come from the maze and then go back in it. I am not someone who would choose sleep and go after delusional peace when here, my soul in drenched in true tranquility.
So, when the golden hour passes and the chaos of reality and life grows, I smile and move towards the waters again, to submerge myself in the world I am grateful for and get cleanse myself of the sins that I regularly commit during my weakest moments, when I pray to go beneath and to lose the peace I have behind.
I choose to spend most of the time after that floating on the waters, lost in my own thoughts or embrace from a distance all what the strangers have to offer. At times I join them but don’t actively engage, see them engrossed in the talks of young minds as they laugh and smile together at the world and worries or beauty of it. Then there are moments, when my mind craves for company, but seeks silence so, I sit beside the Saints to look at them as they attempt to be more present and at peace by being lost in an awakened sleep for which I smile at them, wondering about the thoughts running in their mind as it tries to succeed in borrowing peace from Kashi.
Then towards the end of the day I walk back home, bidding all strangers goodbye for either the night or life as some do return everyday like me while some do not. As I get close, the bright flames of death fill my vision. I can sense the heat of life as they burn till the very last bit of it, for good. I can hear the sorrow-filled cries of the living as they get left behind, having to part with every burning soul for good. I can breathe the smoke of death that dissolves in the air to give the soul a better life. For moments then I halt there to watch the drowning sun, and sit in a corner in silence as people around me shed tears, and then scatter the ashes, into the water, that a loved one leaves behind. All of it make me feel burdened with sorrow as I am reminded of my first day at Kashi, when I, like these people, had lost one who was close to my heart, saw myself being shed - my remains in Kashi which were meant to hold me in their tears of love and life.
This is all what Kashi is to me - a place within the boundaries of Ghats, which still manages to make me see the whole world by calling all of it to her. A cage in which I am trapped, but makes me feel as free as a bird, unbound. A Ghat of death for thousands, like me, which fills one’s every bit with eternal life. A place that holds all the chaos, but can give you true, boundless peace.