Duality (Varanasi)

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Duality in motion and stillness.

Does a place calls you or you call a place?

This has been my question since I started traveling. It has happened many times and I am sure with you as well, when you make all plans to visit a place but never make it. And sometimes without much effort you are traveling to a new place.

A second visit to Varanasi was on my plate for quite a few months. The first visit was to understand and capture the moments of this age old city. Which towards its culmination, ended with a promise of second visit. The incidents leading to this second visit brought back the question again. Though I had lot of difficulties settling on leaves, train schedules and finally finding a place to stay in busy tourist season. But once the dust settled, the ghats embraced me with their calmness and gave me time and peace of mind to ponder on answer.

Sitting on the ghats, you watch people pass by. Some passing in their mortal forms from one point to another. Some passing from this earth to some other earth, heaven, hell whatever you want to call it. You see the river passing by, the boats, the sun, moon, time pass by. And my mind diverts to another question – what exactly is passing by? What I am seeing as passing by or me who is passing by these moments in time? With each water drop, each boat, each second, each individual, I was the one who was actually passing by. I was passing in time for a better understanding me and the world around. Sitting at a single place I was able to draw a connection to the other dots on this big map.

This made me realize, that place is not a variable, variable is me. The places remain as they are. They just reflect my mind, my mood and make me feel as I want to be. And as soon as this thought entered my mind, the duality cleared. For all the questions I had in mind the answer was singularity. It was ‘me’. It’s not other people or places I need to understand, it’s me who need be understood.

So are all questions answered? No my friend! This leads to a bigger question.

What is I without ‘I’?

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