Kashi Consciousness

“The separation from my city has given me the third eye (metaphorically) with which I can see my city better than I could see it when I used to live there. It has given me that Kashi Consciousness which enables one to see the city that has left its mark on the mind of a selected few in every age, without being available to the senses of most of their contemporaries.”

The statement made above is an essentialist claim giving the subject consciousness the status and power unavailable to the “common” or “average” consciousness. It’s an exclusivist and generally insulting kind of a claim that should not be made in normal circumstances. Yet, there’s a definite need of this kind of (strategic) essentialism here, as I have discovered something post-introspection that points towards at least the partial veracity of the claim made above. Banaras as a place is available to the scrutiny through senses, but Banaras as an idea is not at all similar. It is not only difficult to grasp, but also nearly impossible to bring forth in its totality for external scrutiny and verification. Therefore, any claim made on behalf of that idea tends to fall in the field of unknowable.

painter dg3

The city as an idea has its roots deep into what, in Freudian terms, will be called the unconscious. I don’t know even a little about cities other than my own, and even about my own city I don’t know much. I’m a beginning level learner when it comes to the level of knowledge about Kashi. I am not very proud of that. What I am actually proud of is my love of my city and the call of home that rings true and strong within me, and draws me ever so strongly towards my home.

Home, for many, is where they live. For me, it lives within: in me. I separated myself from my place. I did not know back then anything about the effects the action would have on my psyche. My dreams had mostly been set in Banaras, until this year. 2014 has been a difficult year for me. I realized that my dreams could have other cities in them too. Well, let the unconscious do as it pleases, my conscious mind will do what I want. It’ll focus on my home some more.

So, this intensified and longer gaze revealed to me a couple of things about myself. My awareness of my kashi consciousness was one of those self-revelations.


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