I take the perfect crystal lattice and introduce a barrage of edge and screw dislocations.
I am God. I create the most perfect looking world, and just for the heck of it, stomp on it with all my might.
I look back then to realize that what is now grotesque was once glorious.What looks an unforgiving beast now was once an unprecedented beauty.
These are some of the thoughts popping into my head while moving barefoot through the elaborate labyrinth of narrow, twisted aisles under the constant threat of the heavens opening their hearts out, weaving in and out of the motley flow of people, vehicles and livestock, leading up to the sanctum sanctorum, the holiest of holies: leading up to the Lord of the Universe. This is the place which is supposed to be the point of no return as it would seem, the end of the evidently endless cycle of birth and rebirth. This is the walk which you had to take at least once in your life. This is Kashi.
Serene is the word that forms in my mind when I reminisce all the homage paid to one of the most celebrated deities, when I had imagined Bismillah Khan sending out tributes in the most melodious of notes. When the waters of the Ganges lapped at the hull of our boat even in full spate or when her banks were transformed in to altars with the sight of the Brahmins holding ornate lamps in her honour. But maybe it is not a word that can be suitably convincing when I imagine the very same sanctum sanctorum desperately trying to contend with an absolute flood of people. It is a word that can seem a conundrum to the sight of the burning cadavers of Manikarnika on their way to eternal bliss, slowly cleansing the life out of the very same Ganges that was being revered as a great cleanser just a few oar-thrashes away.
I begin to wonder what is it that provides these paradoxes at such close quarters. Maybe it is the deep-seated apathy of the rulers trickling down over the years to the ruled. Maybe there is a desolute desperation among the people who do not know how to surmount this stasis. Maybe all the external forces, both natural and supernatural, want is to make that climb just that much out of reach. But hope is simple and not idealistic. All that needs to be done is to pull the imagination together, soothe the wrinkles and visualize the beauty that should be once the beast is tamed...