When I Reached the City of Gods — Banaras
It was a long time being to my native place, but the destiny has plans for everyone. Wedding at the village was fun, people were learning to live with difficulties. Lights were low, brides face was not visible enough but make up was all done. Standard of living and lifestyle was poor, basic necessities like mode of transport, roof, and toilets were never a word to talk about but the mobile phones were present everywhere.
People are happy about the fact that at least for 6 hours but electricity is the part of their living and they are getting a chance to see all the television serials. Actually they are not happy they are adjusting, they think that this is the best they could get. Unlike weddings in cities, wedding there was not a classy affair but a relief from responsibilities of being a girls father. Change in villages could easily be seen if we could anyway change the way they think and quality education has that power.
After the realisation of truth of village, came to city of gods-Banaras, Kashi for many. The city has many things special in itself, the air of Kashi has the relieving effect even in the the scorching sun of summer, its not just a city but home to culture, art, peace and spirituality. First person I met to the last person I talked , I remember them because of the way they converse.I left my hotel when clock ticked 3:30 pm, got a auto-rickshaw driver as my guide, we visited first to the near by durga temple, sankat mochan hanuman temple, tulsi manas and tridev temple in the vicinity. I was wandering on the streets of Kashi with the stress of my own city Mumbai but this stress was alive till I have not reached the Ganga ghats. The serenity of the holy river and the peaceful sound of Kashi Vishawanath temple bells mix with each other was enough to make you loose yourself to the place.
Hired a boat to explore the ghats and to reach the Kashi Vishwanath and Annapurna temple on the bank of river Ganga. Boating in the holy river has given me life time memories, sunlight falling onto the water, makes it shimmer with glory and I streched my hand down into the water to experience the warmth. My mother even took a sip of it and believe that it is that pure that it could heal the pain. Manikarnika ghat in the vicinity of the Kashi temple has different stories to tell, but it was as quite as the relieving souls, which get salvation from the city of gods. The boatman told me that ash from the first body cremated in the Manikarnika ghat at mid night was cdaane to Kashi Vishwanath. In crematory no one stays for long but here in Banaras lord Shiva gets the ash cdaana and people from all around the world just come to pray and touch the holy Shiva ling.This is the belief of people and followers in the existence of god.
Chillum ka dhuaa aur Mandir ki ghanti,
Logon ka mela aur Naavon ki ravaani,
Kashi ki mahima aur Ganga ka pani,
Banaras ki badi adbhud hai kahaani.
In the return journey the boatman has halt the boat near the Dashashwamedh ghat in the near mid of the river, and the famous Ganga aarti was just begun. Priests were playing the shellfish, chanting aarti and the bells were ringing with long diyaas glowing in the hands of priests, dressed traditionally in dhoti. The happiness and peace, I can just feel that and it is with me all the time in my memory. Mumbai has given me many more things to cherish about, but I got life, when I reached the city of gods — Banaras.