Going Full Circle at Varanasi

In my iPod: Last Of The American Girls - Green Day
State of mind: at peace
Location: Varanasi, India

It's been more than 10 days since I set foot on this wonderful yet esoteric city; I am constantly in the state of open-mouth awe with the lifestyle and culture of this place. Even though I didn't meet anyone or make any friends but I think I have a special relationship with my morning Chai Wallah. I have become familiar with the narrow and winding streets here; I have come to love the colorful painting on the buildings and wall; I am accustomed to the practice of peeing on the wall; I am tolerant to the foul smell that comes from the river Ganga; I am used to the burning scent of human flesh burning as I see towers of smoke raises up to the sky; I am at peace that holy Braham cows that has a higher status than the human outcast workers at the Burning Ghats; I am immune to the food and drink here that holds traces of stool because it was prepare by the water from the Ganga. Some may take a long time to recover from the culture shock that they experience here, but for me I think I may never go back to the state of on how I perceived Indian buggers to be before I came to India. I think they are a bunch of cool curry fuckers and I am proud to be amongst them.

I may not have been here for 10 days if I haven't got sick, but as a vagabond, it is time for me to move on to my next destination. I doubt I would ever come back here again therefore there is still one more thing that I am considering of doing. I have been told, I have read about it and I have witness and smell it. Many have asked me not to go in the river Ganga, the pollution rating is millions above the safety level for a human being to be in. So right now, at the eve of my departure from this city, I asked myself am I going to risk my health and jump into the river or deal with the feeling regret of not doing so when I have the chance.

Fuck that, I am going in.

If you know me well enough, I am a person who would rather live in the moment than stay behind the do not cross line and watch my fucking life passed by. Shit, if I was there when the 2003 Tsunami hit, I would have taken my surfboard and rode the fucking wave and met my end. But I have to admit I do have fears because I didn't get any proper sleep last night after I have made up my mind to jump in the Ganga. The images of floating excretion and human body parts floating around me as I was in the river keeps replaying n my head. But when the morning comes, the feeling of excitement overcame my fears.

I try to block out the thought and smell of shit, crap, feces, stool, excretion, ordure, faecal matter and also the morbid images of bodies being cremated then cast inside the river as I slowly walk down the Ghat; I dipped my feet inside the river and it actually felt good.

From there it was all mind over matter as I walk deeper into the murky waters of Ganga; I took a deep breath and I immerse fully into in. It reminded me of my baptism, as I slowly walked in my church's baptism pool which was of course feces and corpses free. There is definitely spiritual about this, when I walked out from the water, instead of feeling grossed out, I felt strangely uplifted. I may sound like a fucking pagan to you right now, but there must be some mysticism in there that gave me peace like I have never felt for a long time. I look at the faces of the people around me, they are peacefully calm and euphoric like a Hindu cow and I bet I carried that fucking grin on my face too. Despite what they say about the filthy pollution of the Ganga, being more heart than brain, I went full circle here at Varanasi and I don't think that I live a day with regret in my heart for bathing in the world's dirtiest river.

But for a moment there, there was a tinge of remorse when my hair felt like it all was glued together, but there was nothing that a shit lot of conditioning shampoo can't fixed.

It's my last night here in the city which I have come to love; I will try to make the best of it tonight.

xniquet's journey across India