Friday, 16 January 2015

Gifts from Banaras-I


The last week of the last year saw us in Banaras. And we found out that every year it is the time for flower show and art exhibition in BHU. We have been looking for a picture/poster/painting of the famous Ghats of of the holy city since forever. What could be better than an image of the iconic Ghats to symbolize where we belong to? After a lot of looking, we found out that the lovely frames of Varanasi Ghats carved in metal available in souvenir shops always have a tiny Shivling in a corner. I believe that God should not be displayed in living areas. I only wanted the picture for its aesthetic value, not wanting to get a religious view about it.

So when we found out that the Art Department of BHU is holding a sale of paintings by their students, with our hopes soaring, we visited the venue, The New Vishwanath Temple, which is a place of religious and tourist importance. On the grounds of the grand temple were scattered these colorful artworks by budding artists. Visitors to the temple stopped to look at them out of curiosity or genuine interest, clicking pictures, haggling with the students or just passing some idle time.

I was feeling a little blue that day, but one glance at the scene and my mood did a U-turn instantly. It was my dream-come-true kind of scenario, where not only I could look at so much beauty just lying around on the ground, I could also pick up the coveted Varanasi Ghats' images for my home, so that when somebody comes to my home, I could proudly show them where we are from.

And after some looking around, we did finalize two watercolor works by different students and brought them home. Then, when we came back from Varanasi, I waited till the paintings were framed and replaced the earlier Papyrus paintings which had bored me to death.  Such a change, and great feeling!

Oh, while we are talking about Banaras, let me reveal to you the identity of a true Banarasi babu or babe. While others say 'Ganga', he or she would say 'Ganga Ji'. Always.