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INDIAN DIARIES I. KHASI: CITY OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS

Rpnunyez . | India

[ After the morning bath, with the first rays of the day, a man dries his clothes. Left bank of the Ganges. Ghats of Varanasi India 2019.]

Not when you enter it for the first time, not when you descend its ghats, not when you get lost in its labyrinthine alleys, only when you leave Varanasi - Khasi - you realize how deeply and radically Hindu this city on the verge of collapse is.

Before Rome was known or Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem, Khasi was already shining in all its glory and splendour.

Khasi is the only city in the ancient world still populated that preserves traces of a way of life at least 3000 years old.

For ages, Khasi has been unique in India - and therefore in the world - for its special relationship with death, for its undaunted attitude towards it.

Death, the most certain reality of life is here expected with the same naturalness that a youth expects his maturity. Death in Varanasi means liberation, it is a safe door to the "mokhsa": the end of the cycle of reincarnations. Death here is an endless funeral procession which endlessly feeds two unique crematoria in the world: Harishchandra and Manikarniká.

rpnunyez@gmail.com

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