misty morning, varanasi

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Today, the early light rises upon breezes snaking up from the Ganges, bringing a coverlet of haar to the morning ghats, opaque air cloaks the unseen water. From the balcony, disembodied voices shape sounds, reach our ears and pass; the clunk of boats splashing, paddles and bells, a soundscape upon the heavy air. From these possibilities and their shadows the obscurity of the morning; the living city continuing in the cocoon of mists.

Sitting by the chai shop on Manasarova Ghat, clad in winter as steam rises from our glasses, we watch flickering saddhus display brief tones of orange, as they materialise and dissipate upon the borderlands of our eyes. Clasping the heat of our drinks, the weather soaks a moist tendril into bones, until, warmed by lemon and ginger chai, we rise and climb towards the alleys, in search of channa puri and some, small, distance and shelter from the chill hour.

In the alleys slight flames light the dulled passageways, burning refuse mingles with the scents of incense and cowshit, cast shadows upon walls, where, small fires linger, upon the borderlands of the changing seasons.

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