The last post was about Kasi, change and crowd. It ended with my allaghophobic musings about the spectaclization that would alter my city beyond recognition. But then, there’s another side of the crowd-coin. Growing up in the galis of Kasi, I developed eyes that started taking crowds as element of the place. I feel uneasy thinking about galis and streets without crowd, specially the galis around Dashashwamedh and Kedar Ghats, the streets of Sonarpura, Bhelupura, Godowlia, Chowk, Lanka, Cantt, Durga Kund etc. I can’t imagine these places with nobody in the galis or on the streets, especially in the mornings and evenings. Of course the clogging of the fluvidromes creates inconvenience and I have cursed it with my heart several times, especially when stuck around Guru Bagh, but I can’t dissociate crowd and Kasi.
To actually get a glimpse of the spirit of place is quite subjective. To experience it in its totality takes time: a lot of time, and it’s still uncertain whether it happens to a person or not. I had had a few glimpses. The Kedar-Dashashwamedh Ghat gali is one of the busiest galis of Kasi (Vishwanath Gali is the busiest I think). I have known this gali since I was a little child. I have seen parts of this gali without any human being in some summer afternoons. It looks eerie and unnatural and inappropriate (!). Crowd is somehow associated with the spirit of the gali and to find the real spirit one will have to learn enjoying the crowd too.
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