Home is where it all began.
Mayn’t end there though,
For the unfortunate exile:
Self-imposed, planned or accidental,
Home is far, unreachable,
His heaven, his hell.
The sun rises everyday over a large number of rivers. They all look beautiful reflecting the vermillion of the rising sun. One of the images above is of the sun rising over Gangaji in Kasi. What makes it so unique for me? Why do I write of Kasi only? Have I never been to any other place in my life? Have I never experienced any other city? Yes, I have been to some other places. I spent a couple of years in Dimapur, and then some more in Udaipur: both very beautiful and unique cities. I feel for them and miss them, and sometimes have an urge to visit those cities, especially the places where I used to live and work or used to visit regularly. Still, the urge has not overpowered me yet. These beautiful cities have not entered my existence so deeply as to become one with me. Banaras has. I have not always loved it. Neither have I always wanted to be there. Yet, I have always felt very strongly towards it.
I was born in Kasi and I grew up there. In any story of mine, there’ll be Kasi. In anything I write about Kasi, I will appear, sooner or later. That happens to be case in many of my posts. My city is old. My city is new. It’s both at the same time and more. It has a palimpsest like quality, with one difference, all the layers of signs can be seen at the same time at some places.
I’m an exile working in various cities of India to survive. My heart is in Kasi. I borrow Zafar’s words to speak about myself:
Lagta Nahi Hai Dil Mera, Ujde Dayar Mein, (My heart is not happy, in this barren city
Kiski Bani Hai Aalam-e-Napaidar Mein Who has ever felt fulfilled, in this mortal world)
Itna Hai Badnaseeb “Zafar” Dafn Ke Liye (How ill-fated Zafar is! For his own burial
Do Gaz Zameen Bhi Na Mili He couldn’t even get two yards of earth
Koo-e-Yaar Mein in land of the beloved.)
The information about Kasi presented in the blog has mostly one source: my life in Kasi. It may not be 100% accurate. Whenever you find any kind of error: factual, syntactical or semantic, I request you to leave a comment on the page where the error is found.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.