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Benaras and I_3cover
NARRATIVES

Benaras, and I 

North India

Benaras and I_2

Like a predator and her prey.
Lurks, prowls and
a weary stillness.

Like lovers in a courtship game.
The hidden, revealed and
everything in between.

Masters in the art of waiting-dance

In what seemed like an eternity,
measured in each passing boat,
we stood exposed between
eyeblinks.

Tease, taunt or trap
one shall never know

Exhausted, and out of time,
I stared at the city

A city that has surrounded itself
by a fortress of stories, legends
and myths that have sedimented
over a thousand years

A city that has shrouded itself
in a cloak of gods, traditions
and ceremonies performed by
a million worshipping mortals

in defeat, humbled.

The city bid a forlorn goodbye
from behind its veils,
magnanimous in its vanquishment

Much like in Kamban’s Ramayana,
where Rama utters to an unarmed Ravana,
with a humiliating benevolence
that follows victory,

Leave          and return
to fight on the morrow

Under a pale golden sky,
the river watched in silence.

In its muddled reflections, lay Benaras

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