Logically speaking, this image must have come after the next image but as it caught my eyes first and stayed in my mind for long, the steps precede the ghat. These are the steps of Chet Singh Ghat: the-ghat-with-a-long-story. But then, which ghat does not have a long story. Although I may not know the story, or the story may not have me in it. Chet Singh Ghat has a special status. I has a story that I know. And then, it has a story with me too.
There are few pigeons sitting on the long wire that dangles from the left corner of the palace balcony. A few more are on the narrow projections on the wall too. Chet Singh Ghat has had a particularly large population of wild pigeons and parrots since I had known it for the first time. In fact, I remember going there with the full knowledge of finding pigeon feathers fallen on the steps, whenever I needed to get those feathers. I also remember the same ghat for some other reasons too, but that will come later.
These birds fly freely here. They launch from their perch and make a semi-circular round of varying radii over Gangaji, with the palace as its base. Specially in mornings and evenings, a very large number can be seen flying in concert. In fact, of late, people have started coming here to observe the flight of the pigeons and to feed the birds. The last time I was there, at around seven in the morning, there were a few people on their daily round of the ghat. Then there were some who were busy clicking their cameras. Times have changed. This ghat has changed a lot in last two decades.
This is not an isolated phenomenon.