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Friday, November 4, 2011

Varanasi is India's Love-Hate Relationship


Flower Candle in the Ganges River

‘They say that traveling through India is a love-hate relationship. Dharamsala, Amritsar, and Agra were more love than hate. But here in Varanasi, it surely feels like love-hate. As much as I'd rather stay in the whole day. The ghats, the curious stares, the bathing people, the cows, the river - seem to be calling out to me to go out and take a walk again this afternoon. India! :)’ 

Remember when I said that I feel so at home in India? Well, it’s probably because I’ve never been to Varanasi! 

Varanasi is (let me be honest for a bit here) filthy, depressing, claustrophobic, and sad. But Varanasi is continuously trying to pull something out of me. Varanasi is challenging me and pushing me to get out of my comfort zone. Varanasi is slapping me with so many life realities that I should not ignore. 

Varanasi overwhelms me. So far, it is only here and now that I felt the need for some normalcy. It just seems like everything that’s ‘different’ in India is magnified here. It’s slowly pushing me down, but at the same time I feel like it wants me to fight back. To face all the realities head on. 

And I hate and love this feeling. I hate the physical effect it has on me, but I love the way it’s making so emotionally and spiritually vulnerable.