Varanasi is the most popular pilgrimage point in the universe for Hindus. And they come here by the thousands to pray, to worship, to wade in the water of the sacred Ganges River, and to die. I found myself walking around Varanasi wondering how in the world would I ever describe my experience in this most bizarre place. I kept saying over and over, as if in a trance, “this can’t be for real”. Then it came to me walking by the ghats on the banks of the Ganges and through the alleys and streets of this very old Indian city, I felt like I was having a psychedelic experience. (Yes, I was around in the 60’s and 70’s!) Being in Varanasi is a physical, metaphysical, and supernatural trip.
When we told our friends we were coming to New Delhi, we heard a lot of worries and concerns. One friend even recommended I read the book, Holy Cow, by Sarah MacDonald. In her book, she talks about how difficult it was for her to live in New Delhi as the wife of an Australian reporter. She describes chaos, poverty, filth, noise, smells, and way too many people. So I expected to be completely overwhelmed and disturbed being in “the most polluted city on earth”. (more…)