The ghats are large public ponds where people come early in the morning for bathing and praying. People flock here in large numbers every and worship in the temples built beside the river bank. It is a tradition to offer puja to the rising Sun.
You will see these activities in the river banks as well.
Who is this person?
On the ghats, you can see many such peoples in all kinds of poses. They are probably sadhus, don't ask me what was that, look and observe yourself. They have long hairs, they can be anywhere they want, they have color on their faces, they dress a little less than normal peoples, they like to paint themselves into grey tone, etc.
Bonkers on Bhang!!
Bhang, like hashish, is a preparation of cannabis (both buds and flowers) that for some reason is government authorised. There are many outlets in which you can procure the substance, in either baked form or lassi (most guesthouses will whip one up for you, calling it a 'special lassi'). I find a store in town and start things off with a Bhang lassi. Although I am promised it will taste like a milkshake, it tastes more like clumps of dirt mixed with salted milk. It is absolutely disgusting, but the ominous shade of green is at least promising.
Not satisfied with the gross green shake, I decide to try a cookie as well, and am delighted to find that the baked goods come with a government authorised stamp - my type of souvenir! Despite being packed to the brim with bhang, the cookie itself is actually quite sweet. It's somewhere between shortbread and sugar cookie. The stores attract a lot of hustlers, trying to sell everything from opium to magic mushrooms, but I'll stick with the green stuff for today. Indian policeman look fierce, and clutch AK-47s with a casual elegance - talk about intimidating!
About two hours later, I stumble out of the cinema, feeling full the effects of mixing together both bhang products. I hail the first tuk-tuk that appears, and don't even bother to negotiate a price. I hand him the hotel card, and do my best to keep from passing out in the backseat. When I fail to do so, the potholes in the road and screeching halts common with Indian road conditions, jolt me back into reality head-first. Even though I am dropped off right next to my hotel, I still manage to wander off and get lost in the dark streets of the old city. I'm not sure if there's been a power cut, or if my eyes are just failing me when I need them most.
Bhang is fun, but don't mix the two. Either/Or should be the rule, and my bet is to go with the cookie - it doesn't even taste awful =P
In the old quarter of Varanasi it can happen that suddenly a herd of waterbuffalos push their way through the narrow alleys from or to the river Ganges. So before you get run over by a stampede - yield to the waterbuffalos, since you are on the lowest step of the foodchain in traffic........... The way on this pic is still wide enough, but some lanes are so narrow, that you have to jump into a shop to avaoid any contact with the animals.
One photo, one photo !!
...here's another photo to share with all you guys on VT. I have so many photos of this kind, 10, 20 anytime if you want, just say it, I will upload here for you. They are so happy to show their faces on camera screen, I am happy to help put them up.