My story must come to an end, the story of my trip to Varanasi, the city eternal, the city of Mahadev, the city of Shiva, of Shakti, and of Aditya, the sun god. The city nestled on the banks of Ganga, the river which has nursed the teeming millions who live by her banks. Varanasi, the piece of sacred land between the rivers Varuna and Asi, the piece of land hallowed by time, and tradition, and culture, and history. The land where Tulsidas wrote the Ramcharimanas, and where Adi Shankara composed the Manishapanchakam, and the Bhaj Govindam. Yes, this is the Varanasi, I left behind that morning when we woke up early and started on our way back to Lucknow, back home, and back to work.
That morning, the light fog fought doggedly with the rays of the morning sun, not letting it reach the ground completely, even though it knew that it was only a matter of time when the brightness of the sun would increase, and the flimsy layer of fog which covered the city in an gentle sheet, would vanish. Still it fought the losing battle, like all of us do when faced with imminent loss or failure or death and disease. We refuse to give up, refuse to acknowledge the transient nature of things, thus allowing maya to delude us, to cheat us, to keep us enslaved. We refuse to ‘let go’ of things, of people, of places, of memories, of ‘us’….. But letting go is inevitable, leaving is inevitable, loss is inevitable; we can only prepare for what must come.
And thus when we left that morning, our car winding through the familiarly crowded streets of Varanasi, I went through, in my mind, of all that I had gained, and then lost and then the things which I must lose in time….and I was no wiser. As I drove the car, I was quiet even while the kids and Vaishali chatted lightly, happily. Often, Vaishali would look up to me, notice my contemplative mood, and then she would let me be, realizing what was going on in my mind, in my heart, the turmoil that lay within, the debate that went on inside…..she would let me be…knowing what it meant for me to have come here again, and also knowing what it meant for me to leave.
And as the series comes to an end, I must also talk to and thank my reader who has patiently read through all the blogs. I know that sometimes it may not have made a sense to you, my readers, but I know you have been patient and have allowed me to write. And thus, as I finish this series of mine, and move on to other things, I must thank you for your time, your patience, and the appreciation that you have shown. We will meet again, very soon, with other stories, other things that I have to say, for a storyteller’s pen must not rest, cannot rest……..for it has a story to tell…………………..
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