The Night Shelter

The night shelter was meant for those staying over post a late evening or a night cremation. I do not know who she is or where she came from. One morning, when I dropped into the dilapidated night shelter, in order to shoot the morning light over slow obliteration of the place, there was an earthen chulha (hearth), some wood in an empty cubicle and an orange saree over the black lockers. She had started living there, the lone figure in the center of the busiest cremation ground where woman are traditionally barred, men do not linger and the fires never extinguish. Slowly over time, I sensed a tenuous warmth spread in the desolate and forsaken space. From then on I often ran into people -- pilgrims, mendicants, tramps, kids with kites, old women, and mother nursing her pups. A web of kindness had taken hold and was nourishing the fragile life within that shelter.

It’s a box of treasures for me and a morning peep-in is my own private ritual.

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