Varanasi is the oldest living city in the world. The artifacts found are proving that Varanasi (Benaras or Kashi- the other names) were existing from 1800 BCE! The city has its own charm.
The serpentine lanes and by-lanes, the colors, the Sadhus and hustle bustle of daily life made this city so vibrant that anyone can not feel the city existed before The Christ was born! But above all, it is the lanes which is a virtual labyrinth.
It is so amazing having a bakery of international standard in one hand and on the other a shopkeeper who has the best Zarda, a tobacco mix giving you a heady feeling after you swallow it! At the end of the day the lanes remain fascinating forever and the next day calls for a second visit and so on. Here is a story of an octogenarian lady who goes back to her childhood and reminiscences her life as it progressed! The old lady is thinking solemnly about her journey sitting at a corner of her home. She is from Varanasi and her memories are encircling around the serpentine lanes and by-lanes where she played, had her childhood friends, favorite foods! She could feel her granny by her side as if the time had not elapsed! She fondly remembers her coming back from school with the care of her mother. She could see her childhood sometimes clearly and for sometimes it becomes fading! She could also see her beloved in a surreal fashion, riding a bicycle, a conflict of sorrow and joy! She thought of colorful sarees which she wore when she was not widowed. It comes for a moment and fades out. She could find her walking past the lanes where a bystander enjoys morning newspaper or the laborers after a hard day’s work take shelter on a road side make-shift sleeping verandah! Sometimes the colors had gone pale or they come back strongly with a pronouncement. Life is a peek-a-boo.
And the memories haunt for to stay alive and soak in the love and joy! And lastly she wants to go back to her childhood which she left decades back as today the journey is becoming increasingly difficult and lonely! In between, life in lanes became prominent and surfaced in her life as she was born with them and would like to adore in her last journey.The whole story is a mix of surrealism and realism as our thought process does not have any logical reasoning many a times! I allowed it to happen exactly in the same way as her mind goes!