A city transcends into a metaphor, when the purest water around it evaporates from the innumerable diyas on its embankments and then condenses back from a cloth so special that it had to be handwoven.
The first fold begins with the womb. The oldest living spiritual city of the world is the befitting abode of Shiva and Parvati. A place so grounded that the Ganges chose to be its necklace.
The second fold is of structure. Embankments with souls, houses with courtyards, streets that could seduce any drone- all conspiring in an orderly chaos.
The third fold brings about purity. What could be purer than washing away your sins with a holy dip at the very place where the pages of the human genealogy register create the windward breeze.
The fourth fold is held by mysticism, poetry and spirituality. Why else would the likes of Guru Nanak, Gautam Buddha, Tulsidas and Kabir make this city a part of their inner destinations en route to their respective worldly journeys.
Literature, learning, music and art bring forth the fifth fold. It’s no matte of surprise that renowned masters like Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustad Bismillah Khan and Munshi Premchand call it their home. The sixth fold, the inner one - rightly manifests the inner being. The ensemble of hymns emanating from temples, the calligraphy of waves leaving the hands of the oars and the heavenly food that makes your taste buds literally blossom – all adds to your personal alchemy. You’re more of yourself in this city.
And thus, it dances around you in a six-fold silken saree that is a timeless harbinger of all things human.
A city that sleeps like a child nestled in the sheets of its own silk. People know it by many names: Varanasi- bringing alive the familial vibe with the two cousins- Varuna and Assi flanking it like a garland of sorts.
Banaras- because vintage has no age. The oldest living city in the world is like a forbearing promise of the Sun and its ebullience after a dark night.
Kashi- where every sight meanders deep into your soul and makes you say –
“kaash…” So- condense and evaporate in the city that makes you wish..