Monday, 17 October 2011

Benaras Journal, Sep 25th, 2011

It rains and it rains unendingly terrorizing the olds and overjoiceing the young’s. The ghats once again gets covered under Ganges. She says, “You have fed me with enough shits, time to eat your own shits you earthly morons”. Streets, gullies, highways all filled by her. Never have I seen so much of rain anywhere before, never have so the people of Benaras. The ‘Bander wale Baba’ of Assi Ghat still savours his favorite spot. She missed him by an inch. Nevertheless, he and his faithful cannot escape the rain either. I walk past ‘Pilgrims Book House’ through the same gully which usually takes me 5 mins. Today it takes me half an hour, fighting through the water level which only kept on rising. I had to catch a train to Goa, but I can always rely on Indian railways for its timing. 5 mins it has been that I got out of my house with a bag pack and a stranger says “Aall trains cancelled wa”. I smile at him and keep moving on carefully throwing each step knowing very well that it could be my last, for there are unending pot holes which will lead you straight down to hell. I look up for a moment to see the wet monkey Brigades flying from terrace to terrace staring at me with weird smiles saying “Sucker”! A 6 yr old kid comes out of his house in ‘chaddi & banyan’ holding 2 notes of Rs 10 each trying to get down on the road obviously with the intention of buying something somewhere. As he tried to get down the steps, I prayed so that he would go back, for I knew that even if he was the son of the soil, this angry woman will drown him today. He went back and I carried on. The 5 mins walk was finally over and I was on the main road.
I reach the railway station relying on the timing of our faithful Indian Railways. It was late === 16 hours ===. Although it was undoubtedly the longest wait comparatively to other trips, it doesn’t feel annoying anymore. What if we didn’t have Indian Railways at all? Perhaps my travel saga would have never even initiated. Rich or poor, I am always going to be a faithful customer, riding in Sleeper Class observing people, fields and states for hours unending and when bored, flipping pages of books at the speed of light. Trains are definitely the best place to read books.
I escape the treacherous rain and head for Goa to get a cultural break, bidding goodbye to that unforgiving day of 24th Sep, 2011.

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