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The Peace Amidst Chaos

The Ganges
The Holy Ganges

In my mind, there is always a cobweb of thoughts running in a loop: worries about my parents' health, anxiety over the work deadlines, fear about my future; the thoughts go on and on. So, when I decided to take my parents on a short trip to Banaras, I was anxious over charting out the travel plan and executing it to perfection. My parents, on the other hand, were initially reluctant and later very excited to go to the holy city for the umpteenth time. But the bone of contention between us was the travel plan itself. While I was stressing on early reservation and booking for the trains and hotel, they were thrilled over traveling by a bus overnight and staying at a place with bare minimum facilities. No prizes for guessing that they are more adventurous than me. Needless to say, I could manage to book the train tickets only.

Banaras has a charm that never fades away. Though I have visited the city a couple of times, I still look forward to roam across those narrow by-lanes and revisit some old memories. The crowded railway station, the horrible traffic jams, the mouth watering delicacies, the beautiful Ghats, and the never-ending stream of people everywhere; the chaos and crowd are an integral part of Banaras that makes it beautiful.  

To add further chaos to this city, I was accompanying two aging kids- my parents. They happily argued over the things that they generally argue about and I tried to pacify them. I wonder how the roles switched so soon. Once I used to throw tantrums at them and get scolded. Now I am the one who tries to calmly listen to their irrational plans, scold them, and feel sorry about it later. However, that does not deter them from being the stubborn and rebellious sixty year olds. From visiting the Kashi Vishwanath Temple to Sarnath to Ramnagar Fort, eating delicious Rabri and Jalebi for breakfastshopping in the Vishwanath Gali, enjoying a boat ride on Ganga - we enjoyed and argued over anything and everything during the trip. Sigh!

The week long trip was an eye-opener. There was chaos everywhere. In my mind, in my relationships, and around the city. Yet, an underlying peace prevailed in Banaras; in the prayer chants, in the chiming of the temple bells, and on the banks of the Ganges. Soaking in that eternal peace, I could manage to sit with my parents on the steps of Dashashwamedh Ghat for hours; watching Ganga Aarti, looking at the numerous Diyas floating by, silently appreciating the moments, and counting my blessings. Peace lies within indeed.

P.S. I tried to capture a bit of Banaras on my phone and I'm sharing it with you. 

A Beautifully Crafted Door at Ramnagar Fort

The Vibrant Sarnath

Black Robe and White Beard

Goddess Ganga
The Beautiful Goddess Ganga

Ramnagar Fort
The Majestic Fort at Ramnagar

My Stubborn Kids!

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