As a person who always notices and analyses environmental issues in her head wherever she goes, I’m actually quite surprised that I didn’t come away from Varanasi with complete hopelessness. The river is dead. Completely. There is absolutely no life in the Ganga flowing through Varanasi. All that is in the river is dead. Dead flowers, fruits, vegetables, plastic… even bodies (yes, very disturbing, but unfortunately true and sometimes visible). Sure it can still look beautiful, but it’s a deceptive beauty.
And yet, something about the deadness of the river reinstated something that I strongly believe in. That even in the darkest places, from the absolute pits, redemption can happen. And though it makes me sad and even angry to see that we as humans have no respect for creation and conservation, Redemption will come. No matter how dark it gets, the Light is always brighter.
This is Benares, A Beautiful Mess.