Saraswasti Postscript

They were still taking Saraswastis to the Ganga last night as we drove back from Bodhgaya. It took 40 minutes to get drive 2 kilomtres through the centre of the old city because we kept meeting processions of drug-addled youths girating around their banks of amplifiers and speakers a little way behind the goddess. Frankly, she often seemed like an afterthought rather than a main point.

Why do Indians love to drown their gods and goddesses? They do it all the time. Small fortunes in time and money are spent on creating the perfect likeness, she’s worshiped and adored for three days, then dumped, albeit ceremoniously, into Mother Ganga’s capacious belly. Bonkers, if you ask me. And now countless Saraswasti skeletons line the west bank and mountains of straw limbs and tamburas are being swept up by an army of young kids. Varanasi isn’t a gentle city, even goddesses come to a sticky end, or at least extremely damp one…

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