Child of Ganga

Om Gangaye Namah

Posted in Uncategorized by Nadia Kamil on November 27, 2008


Morning on Assi ghat

The days are getting colder. This morning, I walk towards Lali ghat, hoping to watch Lali Baba’s morning aarti, but I get too caught up watching the slow stirrings of life along the ghats that I arrive at Lali ghat just in time to catch the last bit of the routine. Lali Baba asks why I have not come to see him the past couple of days and I tell him I have been busy. He wants to know if I have mentioned anything about our conversation the other night to Nandan. No, I say, in fact Nandan does not even know I am coming here today. He seems satisfied so I try to steer the subject towards Ganga. I ask him if it is part of his daily ritual to clean the river with his bare hands. Yes, he says proudly, he used to be the only one cleaning up the Lali ghat area but now there are students from the yoga school who help out too, as well as people who sweep the ghats. He offers me some pieces of coconut with balls of fine sugar to eat and we sit there and talk for a while. Then he asks if I would like to go up to his ashram to make chapati again but I say no, I have somewhere else to go to today.

On my way back to Bhadaini, I am smacked squarely in the face by the tail of a passing buffalo. Must remember to stop walking with mouth open.

In the afternoon, I take a boat down towards the point where the Assi river empties sewage into Ganga but it is too hazy and dusty to get any decent shots. When I get back home, Nandan brings me to an ashram where about twenty sadhus live. I manage to have a little interview with a couple of them but by the time we are done, it is too dark to take photos so I ask for permission to return tomorrow. The sadhus lead a fascinating lifestyle, so simple and peaceful and without “tension”. I am especially heartened by the passionate way in which they talk about Ganga. In fact, everyone I’ve chatted with so far in Benaras speaks of Ganga as though they are referring to a loved one; you may never guess it is a river they are talking about. I think this is beautiful.

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7 Responses

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  1. lexy said, on November 27, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    be careful really! the terrorists are really in the wrong timing man. I’ll pray hard for you and myself. Take good care and don’t follow strangers anywhere!!!!

  2. lexy said, on November 27, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    OH YEA. hahaha can u pls. DONT walk beside the buffalo!!! hahaha!

  3. hazariah said, on November 27, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    dear nadia.
    this is where i come in,
    and tell you.

    GANGA IS BEAUTIFUL. dont tell me about the pollution there;
    like the people, im in denial! ((:

  4. regina said, on November 28, 2008 at 12:11 am

    so mysterious…

  5. ngiam said, on November 28, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    in some places, buffalo tail is a delicacy!

  6. ngiam said, on November 28, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    i don’t know where but i’m sure somewhere in the world there is such a place. People have a habit of turning whatever nature makes into a gastronomic gift. Though common sense would lead us away from India, where such a delicacy would be sacrilegious.

  7. Hee-haw said, on November 29, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    HAHAHA! I’m so sorry nady! It was my sms cause you get a slap by the buffalo’s tail rite? hahaha.. I’m so sorry! But pls watch out while walking ok! India is now quite danger, so pls take good care of yourself and come back safely! Your Pet would miss u a lot! :)


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