I used to dwell in that land
not on the earth they say
neither on the sky, nay!
From Shiva’s trident
Yes ‘The Shiva’ who spans
the entire cosmic expanse.
Yes, I read the world from the land.
I would view the sphere clear from those sands.
That place accommodated many like me
some tourist too, who had just come to see
the marvels of Kashi!
Yes, they call it Kashi/Varanasi/ Banaras.
With the name, though, I never fussed.
Its identity, can it be contained in the letters of a word?
I know not as I have seen its vastness being unfurled.
When I heard the tourists play their Saxophone and trumpets
On those full moon nights, the music reverbated
I thought it was coming from within me
I understood, Kashi had entered me.
It had penetrated the tourists too
Kashi, within them too grew.
You cannot leave the place
Once you have been to that space
as, your soul, it invades
and you leave there, a part of your whole.
You live with the lovers strolling the ghats
as you go dead with the funeral pyres.
You take it lightly with a sip of tea
and see divinity with the Ganga Aarti!
Then, I had pitied the tourists on those full moon nights
As they were to leave as the new day arrived.
Now, I know they are as blessed as me
As they like me never left the site