"I watch a man sitting on a washing rock in the shallow waters of the river,
He is alone, removing himself far from the busyness of the main ghat, the children, dogs, postcard vendors, tourists...
He stares into the calmness before him, one foot playing with water.
I wonder what he is thinking... so much at peace it seems.
This time of day is wonderful - the light is pale & cool.
In a constant flow, dozens of small birds fly towards their nests in the ghat buildings, then back over the river, forming a continual net of activity over our heads.
Their sound is delicate & is a reminder that this place is more than just a site for tourists, this is a home for many.
Now he is doing his washing - beating the orange lungi that he was wearing only moments ago.
A huge boat of tourists slowly glides down the river.
The sky is beginning to blush - giving colour to the desert bank opposite us - a place that normally glows white in the fierce midday sun.
A young girl is pulling a small dog by the tail. It is impossible to ignore the dozens of sick dogs that live here... or the cows that share the 2nd floor of my guest house... the orange stained cement where men continually spit... the tiny alley ways that invite you to get lost... invite you into Varanasi... invite you to fall in love with India..."
(Tracy's travels, April 1998)