On my way shopping…

I took the scenic route to do my shopping this morning, this time for cushions to put on the hard concrete steps so we can work with a view of the river. The Ganga is everything to the people of Varanasi. A goddess, a means of transport and of earning a living, a charnal ground with the power to purify and enrich. So, it comes as no suprise to see that it’s also where the laundry gets done, then spread to dry on the steps. If you like a little buffalo or cow pooh on you bedsheets, this is the place to come. 

Alternatively, if you need a haircut or a shave…

But take care when you hire a guide. This poor pilgrimage group spent the day being lashed by their despotic leader, who barely allowed them to breathe without his say-so. I suppose it’s all part of the purification process…

This is Mr. Buddha Singh, astrologer (“I will tel you your future for a very small price”). In my case, I passed on the offer, but asked if instead I could photograph his mother. 

I think I had what might rank as an aupsicious meeting today with this rather charismatic beast. He/she (I didn’t get a chance to stare at its genitals, I was too mesmorized by his/her gentle eyes) walked up the steps to greet me and followed me so closely and for so long that the Indian boys noticed and started teasing me. “He likes you, Madam! He likes you!” Perhaps I should be grateful that I’m still attractive to someone…

Come to think of it, my landlord’s brother, who helped his father fill in my registration forms (that’s another story, but not for now) did the maths from my date of birth and exclaimed, I like to think with surprise in his voice, “Oh, you are 52!” I nodded my assent. “So,” he said, “You are my aunty.”

2 thoughts on “On my way shopping…

  1. Janine,

    Don’t remember exactly how, but I stumbled upon your blog Googling something else several weeks ago and then began to “follow” it. I have never followed a blog before (not even friends’ – who have requested same) and so do not know if there is etiquette involved, but my inclination is that it would be kind to let you know I am reading your posts, and offer to stop following if you prefer this be for close friends and family.

    I am a quasi-hermit participating in Sogyal Rinpoche’s “Intensive Option Home Retreat” since 2006, working part time in the afternoons to support that.

    Thank you for the lovely photos and your delightful words.



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