Delhi whispers softly to my ears to write its secrets, untouched places, juicy stories, Gory details, bloody truths and about the funniest moments....Finally Delhi has cast the spell on me and here I go online after being completely smitten by its beauty or oddity! Places, faces and the spices...here I come.
Friday, 21 September 2012
Rhyming Varanasi and Delhi all the way......
(Texts and photos by Pupps Roy)
To purify the sinful soul, for a change of wind, or just for
a short holiday trip and above all to seek salvation Delhites go to Varanasi.
The city of lights, the oldest, ancient city of India and city of Ghats. Surprisingly a
magical similarity is found between Delhi and Varanasi. The entire Varanasi resembles old Delhi while some of the areas look little like the Darya Gunj. Narrow
gullies, kids playing cricket in the backstreets, paan stains in every step you take,
amazing smell of sweet wafting in the air all the time and what not. This holiest city of
India has awesomely large number of cows and buffaloes roaming on the road freely without any traffic control.
American visitors find the cows are fattest here compared to the other places
of India. They are like the fat American cows just like the similar to that of
the Prize Heifers. Have we been transported to dilli? Pinch yourself...no you
are in Varansi and you are not dreaming.
crazy sight of few red and yellow speckled snakes danced by a black turbanned
man swaying to the sound of his cacophonous pipe and the beating of a miniature
drum that brought everyone to a standstill situation in the bustling expanse of Pathani
Tola, another crowded ignored area of old Varanasi. Isnt Delhi the city of snake Charmers? Name it to Varanasi now. Nomads
are now in Varanasi. Villagers who learnt to live with buffaloes come to graze
them on the city roads. The entire city is a zoo. Farmers feed on weed while the animals eat the wastes and occasional servings from some generous passersby. Not forgetting barking mangy
dogs around the narrow lanes after the buffaloes. Some of them look like
domesticated wolves. There are no deserts to find snakes but the charmers catch
them from jungle and bring them to the city to make them dance and earn money.
The teenager girl in burqa looks so cute as she pops out from the top window
and then hides again. Restriction is everywhere but there are exclusions. This
holiest city is a hub of non-vegetarian food but not around the ghats. You get
all on the other side of the Ghats which directly doesnt keep any relation with
the Ganges. There is always a love hate relationship.
Out of nowhere there stands a Japanese eatery. “Cafe Iba” is
just next to the Assi Ghat. Decent Jap food in Varanasi comes unexpectedly.
Upon entering you will see 70% are foreigners and out of which 50% are Japanese
and rest are urban locals in fancy clothes trying their skills with chopsticks.
An awesome Japdin can be enjoyed in just 300rs that too a hardcore non-vegetarian
meal. Quirky decor and Japanese cold beverages will make you sit here for more.
There is an archive of Japanese books. You either can rent or buy them or
even can donate yours. But don’t compare this restaurant to that of the hoity
toity japanese eateries in Delhi. This one is so different with a life and true Japanese simplicity.
Ghats are definitely a hotspot. Basking in the early evening
heat to see the sundown and watching the Ganga Prayer from the boat is not to
miss. Locals still throng the ghats while all the eateries and coffee shops
around the ghats are still clearly designed for foreigners. Exotic food, cool
sorbet and pizzas with home made mozarellas definitely attract foreigners. Some
of them even offer beer and other hard drinks not around the Ghat though. Mint tea is served in every restaurants. But
there is a smell of weed almost everywhere. It looks like every youth is high
and doing their own thing unperturbed by the crowd. Have you been to "My Bar" is
PaharGunj? You will find its ditto here in Sigra area called
"Yelchiko". You can buy a beer for just 100 bucks. Worth a deal in a
chilled bar with a chilled beer from this searing heat outside.
This muggy weather doesn’t make Varanasi more interesting.
No saints on the road but only around the temple area near the Prayag Ghat.
Their life goes on squatting around the circle listening to the super saint
amongst them and then looking around for alms while smoking some pure weed as a
breather. Jai ho! The whole city is so interesting with so many things
happening midst of the hustle bustle that will definitely keep you busy with
something or the other till the time you leave Varanasi. Many places to see and
many things to do. The whole city looks like the movie set of "Delhi
6" which has scene for every climax.
There you go Varanasi. You are colorful, busy, quiet and
serene as the ghats in the midnight, you light up like Diwali in every evening
and you are like an addiction. You are like cocaine. The more you do it more
you get into it except you don’t get a downer. There’s no wonder why does the whole world
come to your feet for a visit or for a dip. Standing before Ganga I lose myself into its tranquility.
I am in my thought-shop now. Ganga is
flowing in the reverse side due to the harsh monsoon this year. Maybe it’s
uniting Yamuna somewhere near Delhi? I have no idea about it. I stood still.