How can they take from what’s always been mine without even taking my permission?
It makes me feel jealous, angry, and at the same time, happy.
Isn’t it strange? It’s true nevertheless.
My city is is called my city because its mine. In all the years of my roaming throughout the sub-sub-continent no one has ever contested my claim over my city: not even my own family members. I love them more for that reason. When a blog post about Banaras is good, it presents a challenge in two ways: it lays its claim to the possession of my city as its own, and it jolts me awake from my lazy literary nap. It’s good when many are drawn towards my city. I feel proud and insecure, for it’s no more mine alone.
Sweeping all existential insecurities aside, I welcome all the lovers of Kashi: the kasiphiles. Let the tribe flourish.
There aren’t many blogs about Banaras, other than those with purely commercial and promotional motivations. There are a couple of exceptions, e.g. the Kautilya Society blog. The very few other non-promotional blogs but they don’t cover much of the city. London, on the other hand, has over 100 blogs on it, rich blogs, not emaciated ones. The same is true of New York. There are many blogs on Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai too, but very few on Varanasi: the oldest and tradition-wise, the richest, among all the cities mentioned above.
There’s a genre of blogs I accidentally stumbled upon while researching for the blogs on my city: the city-walks web sites. It all began with London I guess, because the prime London walks site is simply called “walks.com”! So, naturally there’s a varanasiwalks.com too. Well let it be mentioned here that putting the name of the cities of India with walks and searching on google, I found that there aren’t many “walks” sites on Indian cities. There isn’t any on Chennai, for instance. Lucknow, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Varanasi – all have their own “walks” sites. I could locate one blog on Amritsar, but nothing on Agra, Allahabad, Ahmedabad etc. and to finish the list, there’s a purely commercial indiacitywalks.com. I’d love to see a lahorewalks.com in the time to come. Long enough digression! let’s return to the main point, that is my intense jealousy directed upon those writing about, or with a free access to Varanasi. I acknowledge that the statement made above is true.
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