The best hours in my city are the early hours of the morning, and of course the evening. And these hours are best used when spent on a Ghat. Not demanding any fancy explanations, it is pure bliss. Now, I am not an early riser (something I hate myself for) but some days it so happens that I bless the early morning with my active presence, and that is when I choose to spend the time on ghats. Yesterday was one such happy day. Till now I can hardly remember any ghat-walk taken alone. It has always been with a family member or friends, ‘cause for record I don’t like being alone. Yesterday morning changed the notion. At 5:00 in the morning, dropping my brother off to catch an auto the station, I headed towards peace.
Clueless to what I’d do their sitting alone, I switched places thrice, being all fidgety. And then at one point, I decided I better just look on. For those who don’t know, the location of ghats are such that all the 80 something ghats in the city are located one after the other, so one second you are on Assi ghat, and few steps ahead on Rewa Ghat. Anyway, so I just went ahead and sat on the steps, ignoring that I had a brigade of ant just passing beside me. I knew they cared least too.
|Source: Framed Figments|
Looking on, I observed how there was a full fledged Morning Aartee going on the ghat a little far away on my right, with 5-6 pujaris in a row, while where I sat, there was just one boy doing the rituals. And yet, they were almost in sync. To my north that is near the river, I noticed an old man sitting on a round platform hitting on an instrument, and that is when I realized that was the sound I had been hearing subconsciously for past ten minutes. I just didn’t care to search the source. All I had my attention was the Aartee being performed by the guy, while the mood was being set by a different person altogether. That was the beauty of the whole thing, perhaps…how they went on doing their respective jobs and in such perfect rhythm.
Not too far away from the man with the instrument, another man was bent down sprinkling water on a few utensils. Preparing them for the Prasad, I guessed. Near him, some men and women went about with their routine dip in the ganges, may be missing which made them feel unusual on such days. And that they did as the sun started showing. And in a distance, I could hear another conch blowing keeping up with the sound of bell, followed by a chorus of chants. For sure, from a temple. Nothing unusual about that, in Varanasi. Behind me, up a few steps, the stove had been lit, and I knew with every batch of tea pouring down, humans would start puring too. the day had started.
And I just sat there, blending in the charm of the air that morning, and in awe of the Synchronization.