Lullaby Of The Dark Goddess

For the past several years I have visited the famous cremation grounds of Varanasi on a regular basis. Over the years the cycle of life became clearer to me: I saw adolescent boys grow up and take over shops from their fathers. Chai (tea) shops had new assistants as their proprietors greyed, and carefree kids — who once flew kites along the banks — started assisting in cremations. I learned to feel the anticipation of the wood sellers — curled up in their blankets against the river fog — as they waited for the morning arrivals. Sharing a chai with the mourners seated on rickety wooden benches, sitting down on the banks and gazing at the river, watching the ebb and flow of the wood piles and smelling the acrid smoke, the aura of the place seeped into me, and I realized that I felt whatever I photographed. Not expected at the outset, but my extended visits have allowed me to witness the passage of time in a city believed to be eternal and beyond time.

Photograpohs from this collection were published by Lenswork, Issue 123.

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