A Journey

A small confession  that’s difficult to make

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A friend’s home  in Mithapur, Patna

Or few jumbled desire that’s blurring the lenses

 

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A flower petal after rain from Boring Road, Patna

 

A little dissolving distance between a need and a wish

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A famous tea shop  outside Novelty Book at Ashok Raj Path,Patna. It is more than 50 years old and was started by his grandfather.

Creating symmetry from consciously loosing those tapering needlessness

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A mirror shop near Church, Ashok raj Path

This jumbled desire, distances and needlessness

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Kali Ghat

Leads me to a light

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Darbhanga House, Patna

My moments in hand

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A famous book Shop, Ashok Raj Path

To see visible and alive,standing zealously to be opened

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High Court, Patna

Your journeys are yours, So are mine,an imprint ,a mere past in this now.

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A photo journey of the various places in Patna,  celebrating the heritage that I witness each day.It entails my parallel journeys, my parallel identities that co exist and travel wherever I am.

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Home, Patna

Poem – A journey

A small confession  that’s difficult to make
Or few jumbled desire that’s blurring the lenses
A little dissolving distance between a need and a wish
Creating symmetry from consciously loosing those tapering needlessness
This jumbled desire, distances and needlessness
Leads me to a light
My moments in hand
To see visible and alive
Standing zealously to be opened
Your journeys are yours, So are mine,an imprint ,a mere past in this now.

Detour Diaries, Full Circle

It was midnight and I was crossing the bridge once again leaving Kashi. Should I “stop”, or “some other time”, I was witnessing this conversation in my heart when the auto crossed the bridge.I was on my way to home after a long detour and was travelling from Delhi to Mughal Sarai by road.

Mugha  Sarai  (a place which used to be an overnight stay called as Sarai for Mughal caravans) is a busy railway junction with trains to all major railway station in India. After ten hours of bus journey from Lucknow to Varanasi and sightseeing in Lucknow , I was completely exhausted  and took rest on the platform.WP_20160421_01_44_58_Pro

I saw a large number of people, mostly migrant laborers from Bihar waiting for their train to get back to their home.

“You can find us in any part of the world, and we migrate leaving behind  memories,families, friends and our neighborhood. A lot of us work in inhuman conditions thousands of miles away from home.You have seen us early morning, around a famous Chowk waiting in groups to be taken as  a daily wage workers, in offices, around discussions at tea shops, guarding ATM’s ,banks or apartments, selling you vegetables, paan ,bidi or grocery.

If you are around the outskirts of Patna, N.Delhi, or any part of a big city you can see us at construction sites.

Migration is a social norm now, we move away in search of better opportunities to study, earn or to marry.

Delhi
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Outside the station I heard voices “kahan Jaana hain” Where do you want to go ? It was a difficult question to answer.
Finally, I landed up in Pahargunj. On one side of Pahargunj lies a rich, new and massive present and on the other, an old bazaar with trails of past.It is near N. Delhi railway station and has numerous shops selling statues, signboards for businesses but what catches attention are thousands of hotels. You can find travelers, juice shops, small food joints.I visited Hauz Khas Village, Dargah and some other tourist attractions.Each had it’s pace, it’s own charm , it’s own smell.
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A lot of hand driven carts are used in old Delhi area .

I still cherish that rickshaw ride, around the chaotic market of Old Delhi.It reminded me of Stree Hawk, my childhood super hero.  It’s a must, if you like adventure and would like to know places by it’s smell, like vegetable, spices,fruits, metal work and more.

 

Taken with Lumia Selfie

Having mesmerized by his infectious smile, my street Hawk for the night hails from Bihar and came to Delhi in search of better opportunities. 

Lucknow:  I moved around Lucknow on a motorbike with my friend Mohit. We went to the nooks and the corners, to the narrow lanes, around buildings, on bridges, to the dhobi ghats. The promise  was to tell him, where I want to stop”. We stopped at Bada Imambada” also famous as Bhoolbhulaiya. We met Ali, our guide.  Ali shared his little story, how he came into this profession of  guiding people. Earlier when he was young, he ran away to Mysore and started loving old buildings and telling people about them. Later after many years,he came back to Lucknow with his family . Now he is a proud father and has taken care of his family well.

This city offers numerous buildings with detailed work and eloquent craftsmanship, Roomi Darwaz , Imambada, KGMC bulidings ,Goyal brothers and some I have forgot. The whole area is an architect’s delight. I was lucky to have my friend Mohit, who with his soulful enthusiasm took me to most of this city. During this ride, I also got a chance to see his work,  Threadcraft. He is an entrepreneur working with artisans in Lucknow engaged in Chaikankari .

Chikankari

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Chikankari : The blocks are prepared to put designs on our clothes. Chikankari, an old form of craft from Lucknow, where different type of thread are used in patterns to to make designs on our clothes. It is delicate and artfully done hand embroidery on a variety of textile fabric like muslin, silk, chiffon, organza, net, etc.This is one of the blocks in preparation which is used to imprint design.It is followed by hand embroidery on the imprinted designs.

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These blocks are dipped in a solution of Indigo and Gum to print the designs.

WP_20160420_12_44_02_ProThe clothes are then washed at the banks of Gomti.  A large number of women are engaged in Chikankari, since this work offers flexibility, they are able to work from home and financially support their families.

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Danapur station, Patna. 

This detour happened due to unavailability of tickets to my home town, Patna. Many of us are away from home.

Kashi to Kashi was a full circle, so will be some other place , some other time.

 

 

Calling, Kashi

I always knew this, I had to start, and thankfully I did.

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I have been fighting in my head over years, having always intrigued by the life -death concept. Guess where could I go?

Kashi, a place where death marries life.A place where people come to spend their last days, cremating loved ones, getting drenched in an alien culture, for inspirations, for music, for food, temples, ghats, incense, and what not.It’s a place for witnessing form to formless. You can feel this unknown transition.

Manikarnika.jpgManikarnika and Harish Chandra ghats are specially designated for cremation purpose here.

While walking down the lanes behind the Manikarnika ghat, I could feel the hot air, see the silent walkers, and woods for pyres.It’s also an amusement for many to watch this spectacle of never-ending fire.

I took a break stayed there for a while watching people lost in conversations, their togetherness, while sipping tea with a friend of mine, Rajat who took me
e on a heritage walk of the city. Rajat is the co-founder of Espiritokashi, an organization safeguarding the  Cultural Heritage of India using Visual Anthropology

I walked towards Thatheri Bazar ( a famous market) famous for its sweet shops. It lies in the North Varanasi area, and one could sense a massive security while crossing these lanes. It’s a perfect time to get lost in the detailed movements and activities, a delight to be walking, watching and appreciating at the same time.

It was interesting to know about Aurangzeb’s period, a significant number of temples were destroyed. All through the walk I was hiding my appetite for sweets but had to submit myself,  for a Kulharr (small clay containers) of Lassi at Raja Ram Lassi shop.

There lies Panch Ganga Ghat. Under the yellow lights, everything looked cooler and calmer. Wonderful mosque with a bunch of kids having fun in the evening with a Thela (small carry rickshaw) ride in the mohallas.

I kept watching the river, the people, musicians, toy sellers, dhobis, yogis, painters from the roWP_20160327_06_52_00_Proof of my place near Pandey Ghat.Here, you can find a famous tea shop famous for lemon and Ginger Garlic teas.If you are interested in knowing the history of Kashi, Ganga. You can go to Mansingh Mandir Ghat. It has a huge observatory and information about the city.

A little walk under the dizziness of Thandai is also a beautiful idea; a must try when you are here. I know it was short, but just beginning.

I know it was short, but now death is not a lifeless term anymore; it’s death of a, though, a habit, a practice which leaves you and you leave it.