November 5, 2010

So it is true that you just have to ask.

While I was walking to the town centre, along the Ghats, one of those curious guys I talked about in my previous post stopped me to talk. Well, he wasn’t as hot as those I saw yesterday, but still pleasant. A “Holy Man“, as he called himself. His name is Baba. He’s 25 years old and a couple of years ago he decided to leave his family and job and focus on meditation, yoga and reiki. His mind is “almost” free, he says. He walks around India and sometimes retreats to the mountains. To meditate, I guess. Will he eat crickets? Maybe not, he’s vegetarian. In Varanasi he sleeps along the Gange, that in the night is quiet, doesn’t spread its usual energy, he says.

Varanasi Ghat

He started with the long talks that Indians seem to enjoy; I don’t know the reason. Not to pick me up, because these men are exempt to female charm. Proselytism? Maybe. He showed a drawing he did. He questioned if I like it. No, not really. But he didn’t ask me to buy it. It was just a sketch actually. It looked like he simply wanted to share his life and experiences with me and maybe give me some kind of inspiration. He said he could feel I am happy (not really in this moment, with the continuous need to go to the toilet) and that I have a good heart. This is not the first time I hear it. The first time I almost belived it. It would be nice if someone could really see that you have a good heart that you don’t think you have! Maybe they just want me to open my wallet, with my heart. Or is it me who is too suspicious?

Baba explained me that in the same hand there are 5 fingers that differ one from the other (and so are humans), that the blood that is red inside himself is red inside me too; of the power of the heart, not of the head. And every time “Understand? Understand?”. What there is to understand I don’t understand. That men are not all the same? He also explained that dying and being cremated in Varanasi is a good thing because the soul goes directly to Heaven, without need to reincarnate. Mowgli told me this too, or at least this is what I think I understood. So, same info from two different people, it’s probably true.


I would have listened to him longer, but I’m not sure if it was because of my stomach, not back to normal yet (my poo got to a semi-liquid condition, it looks like a cow poo), or because of the pasta with tuna and mayo that I had for dinner (I didn’t ask for mayo, it just came with the pasta) I got tachycardia and just wanted to go to the toilet and rest a bit.

Baba asked me to think again about what he had told me during my sleep and gave me an appointment for tomorrow at 5. AM! Of course I’m never going to wake up at 5. There are fireworks all day and I won’t be able to sleep early.

When I went back to the guesthouse there was a message for me. For me? But if I don’t know anyone! How is that possible? The message read “Hi I came for meet you call me … you take picture from me and two sado. All the best”. It was the Iranian that I photographed two days ago along the Gange. Apparently in the 2 minutes we talked I must have revealed that I am Italian and that I am staying at the Yogi Lodge (big mistake!) and this was enough for him to find me. To say goodbye I had told them I would see them again on the Ghat, as I guessed they are there all the time, and he must have taken it as a promise, so when yesterday he didn’t see me, he came looking for me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go.

So, I’ve finally understood what they do for Diwali. While I was walking along the river there were some fires here and there, tea lights by the shore and small lights on the buildings (like Christmas in Italy, but just for one night). People meet, with their family mainly, and spend some time together. It would be nice, if the firecrackers weren’t so annoying.

I’ve just come down from the roof terrace of my guesthouse. Usually it’s closed, for two reasons. 1. Nearby there’s a “Golden Temple” that you can’t photograph for security reasons. 2. Sometimes drunk and high tourists just jump from the roof. For the festival the manager exceptionally opened it.

It’s a mess out there. Firecrackers and fireworks and candles. Feels like New Year at home, but it’s been going on for hours and from every house. I hope it won’t last the whole night.

Families are on the roofs throwing firelights and kids run around shouting with happiness. I hope nobody gets hurt (but I must admit that I had bad thoughts for a guy yesterday that kept throwing firecrackers 10 meters from my table).

The view from the roof is beautiful (it’s since my life in Bologna that I love roofs), but I couldn’t find peace. I was scared that a firecracker would hit my head, and heights scare me. When I’m above two floors, the empty space behind the low wall seems to call my name: “Come Katty, jump down here, I’ll catch you”. I envied the other guys with their elbows on the wall while I had to stay at least one meter from the wall.

Shower and then I’m going to bed. Today I took the last pills for the diarrhea. Starting from tomorrow my body will have to cope with it alone. Let’s see how it reacts.