Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Emancipation (Part 1)

It was the month of September and monsoon had passed the fields in Awadh range of northern India.  The days were neither very sultry nor too cold. 
Approximately one year had been passed since I have last seen my old friend Rakesh. I was very anxious to meet my old friend, who was my sole companion during the post graduation in our college days. After finishing our college in Meerut, we departed. Rakesh had succeeded in grabbing a job of lecturer post in local college in Benares while I, being more conscious in studies and having more percentage of marks in our examinations, was failing to find a job. Often I wonder ‘What will I do?’ because I could not concentrate my mind in doing anything. As I was not earning any money, I had become totally a parasite on my family.
Wandering here and there aimlessly in my home town Jaunpur, which is just 50-55 km away from the Benares, was my favorite pass time. Apart from this short distance of 55 km, which could be completed in two hours by bus, I hardly got time to go and meet my friend. I had nothing much to do except looking after my family shop, which was largely controlled by my elder brother. In addition to this I didn’t have much interest in business so I had plenty of hours to waste. There was a bridge in the Jaunpur city named ‘Sadbhavana Bridge’ which was a newest kind of bridge in the city build over the Gomati River. I remained stand over the bridge for many hours and watched the rickshaw pullers pulling there rickshaw with a load of very fatty women of 2-3 quintal weight. Watching them filled me with a feeling of satisfaction. I wondered ‘From where these fatty women got their calories?’ I watched their bosoms which were of 2-3 kg each and their hips which were like the hips of Sumo wrestlers. I watched the girls, in their teens, flaunting over their virginity, over their well shaped figures. But their attractive figures too, failed in arousing the feeling of lust in me. I think the connection between money and girls goes hand in hand. When you have nothing in your pocket, your feeling for the girls also died away.
The teaching job of Rakesh was going fine and he became able to make approximately 16000/pm to make a living. He invited me soon after getting the job as some more of his friend were coming on the same day but for a different reason. There was the interview for Ph.D. position in BHU scheduled to be held on the next day, and those friends were coming for appearing in the interview.
I took the bus going to Benares. I had not visited the city since my grand father was expired, last time approximately 3 years ago. I remember the scene of the dead body of my grand father. People from our village along with our family members were saying, “Only the name of Ram is truth, only the name of Ram is truth…” My brothers, my father and my uncle were carrying away the divine body of my grand father. The peoples were going through the roads, through the congested paths of the town and finally reached at the ‘Manikarnika Ghat’ a place where all the divine bodies were burned. I saw the building over the bank of Ghat which had become black due to the smoke produced from the pyre. There were some figures being engraved over the wall of the building with a name which is a legend in itself ‘Raja Harish Chandra’ the Satyawadi. The divine body of my grand father was gifted to the God of fire after some religious rituals. We were sitting over the stairs of the Ghats until the pyre turned in to ashes. Then we took the holy dip in the River Ganges and mother Ganges took away all the grief and sorrow associated with our grand father demise. The divine body of my grand father had again smitten in to the eternal five elements of which our body has made of, air, fire, water, earth and sky. Our grand father had got his emancipation in Benares.     
The city has a number of names, like Benares, Kaasi and Varanasi, each name has its own origin. It is called the heritage city and people from all over the world came here in the search of emancipation. They sat down on the stairs of the Ghats over bank of River Ganges and lost in its beauty. They saw the funeral pyre of the dead bodies of the persons belonging to Hindu religion, being set on fire. It is purely religious ritual and the scene of the dead bodies burning in the fire, filled one’s heart with rather a feeling of satisfaction. There is a charm in these burning bodies which attracts the tourists from over the world.     
To be continued.....          

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