Nightfall on the Ganges
Wednesday 21st October 2015
A Page from my Diary, or should that be Diarrhoea…..
Alan is feeling much better, but now it’s my turn. Had fish and chips! in the restaurant last night and the fish tasted off so only ate a little. Bad gut ache and diarrhoea from the early hours. Just need to sleep as the diarrhoea recedes, so stay in bed until 14.30.
Hopefully I’ll be well enough to visit the dusk ceremony at five.
Taxi arrives at five and though still a bit delicate, decide to go. Big mistake.
We drive into the old town. It’s choc a block. Parking at a small mall we walk to the ghat that we visited before. Fortunately a friend of the driver draws alongside on his motorbike in the chaotic streets and takes me some of the way. We go down to the river to board a rowing boat as darkness descends. We row north to the funeral ghat where the pyres are blazing out in the night sky. The heat and humidity are unbearable and I start to wretch over the side of the boat. They decide to return to the river bank, but I’m completely out of it and don’t have the energy to climb up to the top of the ghat, so they support my arms and then I’m on the back of the bike with sweat running down my temples, but at least the flow of air was helping. The roads are crammed with people, families, motor bike, scooters, bicycles, cycle rickshaws, cars, taxis, all hooting and squeezing into any slight space to get ahead. We get to the mall where the car is parked but daren’t approach it because a group of monkeys are gathered there. Then a man with a big stick sends them away. The journey back is even worse than coming and we move a yard at a time. They close off part of the carriageway because of the crush.
Feeling a little better, so later go down to the hotel restaurant and have a bowl of tomato soup and a milky lassi drink plus plenty of mineral water which makes me feel better. Today was hard India.
17.45, 21 October 2015, on the Ganges, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Olympus OM-D-E5 f/3.5 1/60 ISO 5000 24mm